commodity

noun
com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Definition of commodity

1 : an economic good: such as
a : a product of agriculture or mining agricultural commodities like grain and corn
b : an article of commerce especially when delivered for shipment reported the damaged commodities to officials
c : a mass-produced unspecialized product commodity chemicals commodity memory chips
2a : something useful or valued that valuable commodity, patience also : thing, entity
b : convenience, advantage … the many commodities incidental to the life of a public office …— Charles Lamb
3 : a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (such as brand name) other than price
4 : one that is subject to ready exchange or exploitation within a market … stars as individuals and as commodities of the film industry.Film Quarterly
5 obsolete : quantity, lot

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of commodity in a Sentence

agricultural commodities like grain and corn Oil is a commodity in high demand. Patience is a rare commodity.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Additional support comes from more traditional revenue loss programs due to low commodity prices, compensation for trade disruptions resulting from tariff battles and conservation programs assistance. David Pitt, ajc, "Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms," 31 Dec. 2020 Oil producers frequently write down assets when commodity prices crash, as cash flows from oil-and-gas properties diminish. Sarah Mcfarlane, WSJ, "2020 Was One of the Worst-Ever Years for Oil Write-Downs," 27 Dec. 2020 Women are such a commodity, which made for very different interactions between genders. J.j. Anselmi, The New Republic, "The Rise and Fall of a Fracking Boom Town: An Oral History," 21 Dec. 2020 Like most Minnesotans who grew up with Pearson's products, the BSG crew didn't know the Pearson's candies would become such a hot commodity in other parts of the country. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "Beermakers nationwide are nutty about Pearson's candy from St. Paul," 18 Dec. 2020 The precious commodity made its Wall Street debut on Monday, allowing investors to bet on the ups and downs of this life-giving essence. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Good news: the COVID vaccine is here! The not so good: markets are unimpressed," 8 Dec. 2020 West and the Batman franchise was such a hot commodity that he was paid $5,000 for making a brief appearance at the Grand National Junior Livestock Exposition at the Cow Palace in April 1966. Bill Van Niekerken, SFChronicle.com, "‘To our lucky (??) readers’: When The Chronicle gave away the Batmobile — sort of," 1 Dec. 2020 Two-wheelers became such a hot commodity that bicycle shops couldn’t keep up with demand. Washington Post, "What do yarn, RVs, exercise gear and snowshoes share? They all could be hot winter buys.," 5 Oct. 2020 La Niña is shaking up agriculture in an already-tumultuous year for commodity markets. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Weather-Upending La Niña Is Headache for Farmers World-Wide," 4 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commodity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of commodity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commodity

Middle English commoditee, from Anglo-French, from Latin commoditat-, commoditas, from commodus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about commodity

Time Traveler for commodity

Time Traveler

The first known use of commodity was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for commodity

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commodity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commodity. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for commodity

commodity

noun
How to pronounce commodity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of commodity

: something that is bought and sold
: something or someone that is useful or valued

commodity

noun
com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Kids Definition of commodity

: something produced by agriculture, mining, or manufacture

commodity

noun
com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Legal Definition of commodity

: a class of economic goods especially : an item of merchandise (as soybeans) whose price is the basis of futures trading

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on commodity

What made you want to look up commodity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!