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

Examples of commodity in a Sentence

agricultural commodities like grain and corn Oil is a commodity in high demand. Patience is a rare commodity.
Recent Examples on the Web Hence the shortage of semiconductors chips for automobiles, for instance, or the lack of enough glass bottles for all the booze people were buying, And then came the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which sent commodity and agricultural prices soaring. Zachary Karabell, Time, 13 May 2022 Stablecoins are cryptos that are tied to a reserve asset such as a currency (like the dollar or euro) or a commodity (like gold, oil or real estate). Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 13 May 2022 The price of crude and refined products – like gasoline and diesel – is set in a global commodity marketplace. Dan Eberhart, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Sliding currencies are a particular headache for major commodity importers and for emerging markets with large stacks of hard-currency debt to service. Quentin Webb, WSJ, 12 May 2022 Most stablecoins are tightly pegged to a traditional fiat currency, such as the US dollar, or to a commodity like gold. Allison Morrow, CNN, 12 May 2022 Breaking up the old imperial producers helped to open up space for commodity traders to negotiate transactions at each point along the supply chain. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 12 May 2022 Once the United States made clear that Russian fertilizer was not subject to sanctions, finding shippers willing to transport the commodity also became easier. New York Times, 8 May 2022 And while oil prices should stay high, major oil companies are selling another highly-valuable commodity this year: natural gas. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commodity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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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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