DEFINITION of 'Gorilla'

A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing and availability of its products, relative to its competitors in the industry. This often forces competitors to resort to other tactics to compete, such as clever marketing or differentiating their offerings.


A gorilla firm does not necessarily need to have a monopoly within an industry to dominate it; however its overall dominance in the industry may often lead people to perceive it as a monopoly. This term is a reference to the old jokes about the 800-pound gorilla that, "does whatever it wants." For example, you might hear people say that McDonald's is an 800-pound gorilla.