. . . and the few
Mark from Traverse City reports that he was listening to CNBC earlier this week when Erin O’Brien used the word oligopoly. “Either I wasn’t paying attention,” says Mark, “or she never got around to defining it.”
An oligopoly is the domination of a market by just a few individuals or corporations. The combining form oligo- comes from an ancient Greek word that meant having few or having little. It appears in some interesting words.
• Oligoblennia is insufficient mucous production, leading to dry membranes.
• An oligochronometer was an instrument used to measure very small periods of time.
• Oligodontous refers to a species of snake that has relatively few teeth.
• Oligogalactia is a deficiency of milk secretion.
• Oligoglottism is a limited knowledge of languages.
• Oligomania is a mental illness characterized by the dominance of a small number of irrational ideas.
• Oligometochia was the avoidance of participles or participial constructions.
• Oligophagous describes an insect that feeds on a limited range of plants.
• Oligoprothesy was the sparing use of prepositions.
• Oligosyllabic means having few syllables.
• Oligotrophic is used to describe a lake or wetland relatively poor in plant nutrients.
Now available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition.
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