In my experience, a colorful accusation to raise against someone who is keeping a collection of toys, refusing to share with their siblings is "hoarding".

Stop hoarding the Legos!

Can the same be used for a single item? It doesn't sound right.

Stop hoarding the light saber!


Stop hoarding the remote!

What's the right word here?

  • 2
    Hoarding isn't really common, at least in my experience, as it implies that you're keeping more than you can use, and not using them. So "hoarding the remote" would imply that you've stuck it (and probably a number of extras) in a closet, while hogging or monopolizing implies that you're using it and not letting anyone else use it.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 20:11

4 Answers 4


Verb for refusing to share an item

  • monopolize


verb gerund or present participle: monopolising

  • (of an organization or group) obtain exclusive possession or control of
  • (a trade, commodity, or service).
    "they instituted press censorship and monopolized the means of communication"

Oxford dictionary: web

If you wanted a less formal word in moderatley common use:

  • hog

take or use most or all of (something) in an unfair or selfish way.
"he never hogged the limelight"

Oxford dictionary: web

  • Agreed. (We posted at the same time). :) Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 19:09
  • That's the trouble with more than one answer. I want to up-vote 'monopolise' but I do not care for the other one. So, no vote.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 23:57
  • 10
    @Bitterdreggs Feel free to split your answer into two answers in response to NigelJ’s comment. For my part, I think hog sounds more appropriate than monopolize in the register of the OP’s examples, so I might upvote hog and not vote for monopolize.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 0:23

In addition to Bitter dreggs answer, there's a slang version that is not as popular as it once was.



  • To selfishly take or keep something; to hog; especially to hold a joint (marijuana) dangling between the lips instead of passing it on.

This expression was made popular by the band The Fraternity of Man (but was used before this):


  • I rather know the phrase/spelling: "don't bogart that joint" (which implies wasting it). Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 3:37
  • I'm pretty sure *bogoart is a misspelling. Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 5:36
  • 2
    @chrylis-onstrike- And, unfortunately, SE's software prevents you from simply correcting a single typo with an edit if you're not the author of a post.
    – nick012000
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 7:03
  • 1
    Bogart is still common; it just has a very niche sociolect/use that doesn't quite fit with vaping.
    – lly
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 19:26

Can the same be used for a single item? It doesn't sound right.

No. You hoard a quantity of something. It is not possible to "hoard" a single item.

The verb "to hoard" derives from the noun "hoard": 1.a. An accumulation or collection of anything valuable hidden away or laid by for preservation or future use; a stock, store, esp. of money; a treasure."

  • Eh, people are upvoting you but, like @jamesqf noted in the comments, hoard can also mean to add to a hoard. You don't hoard the remote by hogging it but you can hoard it if you're tossing it into the closet and then keeping your sister from getting it out.
    – lly
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 19:22
  • @lly I can't agree with you as your example of "to hoard" seems to me (i) to be too close to "to hide" (ii) as if it has been given a motive other than storage.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 11:47
  • I'm not saying it is a synonym for hogging. It isn't. I'm just saying it's quite possible and correct to hoard a single item amongst an understood stash; you've got an inaccurate overstatement in your current answer.
    – lly
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 14:15
  • @lly "I'm not saying it is a synonym for hogging. It isn't." And neither am I. OED "1. a. transitive. To amass and put away (anything valuable) for preservation, security, or future use; to treasure up: esp. money or wealth. -- 1635 A. Stafford Femall Glory 161 Whereas the Rich hide and hourd up their wealth. -- 1878 W. S. Jevons Polit. Econ. 22 If the rich man actually hoards up his money in the form of gold or silver, he gets no advantage from it."
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 15:17
  • Good, because that would be wrong. Just like saying the verb hoard can't be used with a single item as its object is also wrong. It's great you've got the OED. Move on down to sense 2. Or, y'know, read the first note here. It is possible to hoard a single item in a separate sense of the verb.
    – lly
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 15:44

Maybe try "retain" or "keep."

For example, "I retain the remote, and thus the choice of shows!"

This sounds quite formal. Let's try another sentence.

"I wanted it, made my case, yet somehow she retained the remote. So it was my sister that picked the shows we watched that afternoon."

In that same vein you could use keep or kept as well.

"I asked her, but she decided to keep the remote, and we ended up watching her shows for the rest of the day."

"Susie kept the remote on a high shelf where I could not reach."

Refusing to share is simply retaining or keeping what you already possess.

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