Definition of cartel noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

cartel

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//kɑːˈtel//
 
; NAmE NAmE//kɑːrˈtel//
 
[countable + singular or plural verb]
 
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a group of separate companies that agree to increase profits by fixing prices and not competing with each other to operate an illegal cartel Word Origin late 19th cent.: from German Kartell, from French cartel, from Italian cartello, diminutive of carta, from Latin carta, charta, from Greek khartēs ‘papyrus leaf’. It was originally used to refer to the coalition of the Conservatives and National Liberal parties in Germany (1887), and hence any political combination; later meaning a trade agreement (early 20th cent.).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cartel