oligopoly (plural oligopolies)
- An economic condition in which a small number of sellers exert control over the market of a commodity.
1866, Frederic Seebohm, “More drawn into Court. His Introduction to the "Utopia" (1516).”, in George Henry Lewes editor, The Fortnightly Review, volume 6, London: Chapman and Hall, translation of original by Thomas More, The Oxford Reformers of 1498., page 489:
- For tho sheep are falling into few and powerful hands; and these, if they have not a monopoly, have at least an oligopoly, and can keep up the price.
1895, Ralph Robynson, “The Fyrste Boke”, in Joseph Hirst Lupton editor, The Utopia of Sir Thomas More: In Latin from the Edition of March 1518, and in English from the 1st Ed. of Ralph Robynson's Translation in 1551, Oxford: Clarendon Press, translation of original by Thomas More, Preliminary Matter from Robynson's Translation, page 55:
- [footnote 2] We have ' monopoly,' but not ' oligopoly ' (the sale by a few), and so cannot preserve the point of the sentence.
1907, G. Macloskie, “General Literature”, in The Princeton Theological Review, volume 5, Princeton: Princeton University Press, Recent Literature, page 352:
- The specialist offices have it all to themselves; not a 'monopoly', but an 'oligopoly', if we may coin the term.
2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, Internal Combustion:
- But through the oligopoly, charcoal fuel proliferated throughout London's trades and industries. By the 1200s, brewers and bakers, tilemakers, glassblowers, pottery producers, and a range of other craftsmen all became hour-to-hour consumers of charcoal. This only magnified the indispensable nature of the oligopolists.