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

Essential Meaning of commodity

1 : something that is bought and sold agricultural commodities like grain and corn Oil is a commodity in high demand. commodity prices
2 : something or someone that is useful or valued Patience is a rare commodity. an actor who is a hot commodity [=who is very popular] in Hollywood right now

Full 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

Examples of commodity in a Sentence

agricultural commodities like grain and corn Oil is a commodity in high demand. Patience is a rare commodity.
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Recent Examples on the Web Ongoing global supply chain disruptions are considered a root cause of the rising commodity prices. Clay Chandler And Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 2 Dec. 2021 Wisconsin Public Radio reported the rise in land values is driven by strong commodity prices, and demand from nonfarm buyers. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 1 Dec. 2021 For families like the Uhlirs, farming is increasingly unsustainable, as drought and extreme weather, fluctuating commodity prices and rising costs alter the economics of running a small- to midsize operation. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Higher commodity prices are expected to put pressure on input costs at factories in the first few months of 2022. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 22 Nov. 2021 The run up in commodity prices, meanwhile, is buoying a host of export-dependent emerging markets. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 Despite strong commodity prices, the company’s oil production decreased from a year ago because Abraxas hasn’t been able to invest in replacing wells as oilfield production naturally declines. Diego Mendoza-moyers, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Nov. 2021 Media and analyst attention tends to focus on how rising commodity prices will impact the consumer, especially as consumer price inflation is expected to be at above average levels heading into 2022. Andrew Duguay, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Earnings are growing at a healthy clip thanks to rising interest rates and surging commodity prices. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for commodity

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near commodity



commodity dollar

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Statistics for commodity

Last Updated

7 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commodity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for commodity


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on commodity

Nglish: Translation of commodity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commodity for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about commodity


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