day trader


Definition of day trader

: a speculator who seeks profit from the intraday fluctuation in the price of a security or commodity by completing double trades of buying and selling or selling and covering during a single session of the market

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Other Words from day trader

day-trade \ ˈdā-​ˌtrād How to pronounce day-trade (audio) \ noun or verb

Examples of day trader in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Back in 2015, day traders used this sector to play the broader market. Shuli Ren | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Why China’s Stock Market Is Scarier Than 2015," 7 July 2019 Phillip Hawkins, a single 29-year-old video editor and day trader from Baldwin Hills, had a similar nonanswer. Lz Granderson, ajc, "Many of us haven't touched another human for weeks. What's the price of no contact?," 16 Apr. 2020 The all-stock takeover, announced Thursday, will combine a Wall Street firm in the late innings of a decadelong turnaround with a discount broker built on the backs of dot-com day traders. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Is Buying E*Trade, Betting on Smaller Customers," 20 Feb. 2020 Arrambide, founder of Day Trading Academy and co-founder of SpeedUpTrader, a funding company for aspiring day traders; connect with Marcello on Instagram and LinkedIn 6. The Oracles, USA TODAY, "10 essential pieces of advice for anyone who wants to leap from employee to entrepreneur," 25 Feb. 2020 The nation’s 350 million young people are morphing into day traders. Washington Post, "How China Turned 350 Million Millennials Into Day Traders," 16 Apr. 2019 The bunker and the secrecy around it were the obsession of Daniel Beckwitt, a then-26-year-old day trader and computer hacker who lived alone upstairs, worried North Korean missiles could soon be on the way. Dan Morse,, "A millionaire day trader, the secret bunker under his Maryland home and a murder conviction," 1 July 2019 Market timing is dangerous and best left to day traders and those with crystal balls. WSJ, "The Best Financial Advice I Ever Got," 16 June 2019 There is going to be a push to play to an audience seeking moment-to-moment betting opportunities much like CNBC, say, has played to a generation of day traders. Phil Rosenthal,, "Here’s when sports gambling could be legal in Illinois, and answers to other questions about casinos and betting," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'day trader.' 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 day trader

1953, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for day trader

Time Traveler

The first known use of day trader was in 1953

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Statistics for day trader

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Day trader.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for day trader

day trader


Financial Definition of day trader

What It Is

Day trader is a term applied to a very active securities trader who holds securities for a short period of time. Day traders will often open and close a position within the same day.

How It Works

While many day traders focus on stocks, the practice is not limited to equities. Some day traders also buy and sell bonds, foreign currencies, commodities, options, and even derivatives contracts.

There are several types of day traders. Some are called scalpers; they attempt to earn small profits on large volumes of securities. Meanwhile, momentum traders look for securities that are exhibiting strong trends on a particular day and attempt to profit from those trends. Day traders often use technical analysis to determine which securities to trade, as well as to pinpoint the ideal entry/exit points for their transactions.

Day traders tend to execute most of their transactions through low-cost online discount brokers, as the higher commissions paid to traditional full-service brokers would soon become cost-prohibitive. Some day traders avoid using market makers or brokers entirely by purchasing memberships in direct-access broker systems. These systems route orders to an electronic communications network (ECN), which is a computerized matching system that allows traders to advertise bid or ask prices and execute trades.

Most day traders close out their positions at the end of the trading day to avoid the potential negative effects of news, earnings announcements, or changes in investor sentiment that may occur overnight. Those willing to bear this risk and hold securities for up to several days are often referred to as swing traders.

Why It Matters

During the bull market of the late 1990s, day trading became an increasingly popular way to generate quick and easy profits. However, many day traders had little formal financial training or investment expertise, and a large number were wiped out by the brutal bear market that ensued from 2000-2003. Some people consider day trading nothing more than another form of gambling, and claim that its introduction has increased volatility in the markets. Meanwhile, others believe it to be a legitimate means of capitalizing on short-term trading patterns.

In either case, day trading requires solid analytical skills and strict discipline, particularly for those that want to make a career of it. Given the exceptionally speculative nature of market timing, day trading is probably not prudent for those without the considerable financial expertise and emotional stamina needed to withstand the substantial risks involved.

Source: Investing Answers

day trader


English Language Learners Definition of day trader

: a person who tries to earn money by buying stocks and then selling them very quickly after they increase slightly in value

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