I consulted several online dictionaries and did not find the answer. "To corner" usually means "to put into a position from which it is difficult to escape", but that's hardly the meaning here, is it?

Here is the quote : "

Gold has been cornered, scrambled for, and hoarded," said the Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill in 1932.

  • This is a use drawn from financial and commodities markets; see Collins, 21. Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 12:29
  • Look up "to corner the market"
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


He's talking here about "cornering the market". To corner the market is to dominate the market, by making yourself the only seller or the only important seller. If you could buy up all the gold available for sale, or a larger percentage of the gold available for sale, you could corner the market in gold. Normally the point is that you can then control the price to some extent as there is no competition. If you are the only person in the world with any gold to sell, that people have to either pay whatever price you ask or not get any. Presumably that doesn't mean you can charge whatever price you like and everyone will have to pay it, as they'd always have the choice of not buying gold. But the only limit on your price is what people are willing to pay; you don't have to worry about a competitor underselling you.

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