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Jan 26, 2010
This week's theme
Words made with combining forms

This week's words
theogony
oligopoly
artiodactyl
heliolatry
hagiography
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

oligopoly

PRONUNCIATION:
(ol-i-GOP-uh-lee)

MEANING:
noun: A market condition where there are few sellers.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek oligo- (few) + -poly, patterned after monopoly, from polein (to sell).

NOTES:
Here's a little chart that explains it all:
monopoly:one seller, many buyers
duopoly: two sellers, many buyers
oligopoly: a few sellers, many buyers
 
monopsony:  one buyer, many sellers
duopsony: two buyers, many sellers
oligopsony: a few buyers, many sellers
From Greek opsonia (purchase).

USAGE:
"The country's fair trade regulator suggested Sunday that the long-standing oligopoly of a few gas companies should be phased out by allowing new providers to compete in the market."
Jane Han; Gas Monopoly Must Be Dissolved; The Korea Times (Seoul); Jan 3, 2009.

See more usage examples of oligopoly in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Old age deprives the intelligent man only of qualities useless to wisdom. -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

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