mark·down | \ˈmärk-ˌdau̇n \

Definition of markdown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a lowering of price

2 : the amount by which an original selling price is reduced

mark down


Definition of mark down (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put a lower price on

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Examples of markdown in a Sentence


marked down all seasonal goods immediately after the holidays

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some stores have markdowns of 60 to 80 percent and others are at 70 to 90 percent. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "One last toy run! All Toys R Us stores will close on or before Friday," 24 June 2018 Beach Bunny Swimwear is offering 60 percent off new sale items and even further markdowns on current sale. Lauren Swanson, Allure, "The Best Fourth of July 2018 Beauty Sales and Deals to Shop Online," 27 June 2018 First launched back in 2015, Prime Day has become one of the biggest sales of the year, with major markdowns on everything from electronics to fitness gear to smart home gadgets (last year, the Echo was one of the most popular items sold)., "What's Amazon Prime Day? Everything You Need to Know About the Biggest Sale of the Year," 28 June 2018 Don’t forget to check outlet-style sites, like the REI Garage (side note: a lifetime membership at REI runs you $20 and gets you a discount and access to special markdowns, in addition to other perks). Gray Chapman, SELF, "Here's How to Dress for a Hike Without Sacrificing Style," 12 Apr. 2018 Some stores even have markdowns of 50-70 percent, though inventory for many liquidation sales differs in many stores. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Toys 'R' Us Will Close All of Its Doors Forever This Friday After More Than 70 Years," 25 June 2018 Some stores have markdowns of 60 to 80 percent and others are at 70 to 90 percent. Sarah Brookbank,, "Don't miss out: Toys R Us stores close for good on Friday," 25 June 2018 And of course, for the dedicated follower of fashion, nothing beats the biannual Net-a-Porter markdown. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Outnet Sale Is Full of Good Deals on Summer Clothes," 25 May 2018 In addition to markups, brokers will also have to disclose markdowns, the haircuts investors have to take when selling bonds prior to their maturity. Andrew Ackerman And Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Starting Next Week You Can See Brokers’ Profits From Bond Sales," 9 May 2018

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


1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1859, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for markdown

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for markdown

The first known use of markdown was in 1859

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More Definitions for markdown



Financial Definition of markdown

What It Is

Markdown refers to the negative spread between the price a broker charges a client for a security and the highest price at which that security is sold between brokers. It is the opposite of markup.

How It Works

If a broker wishes to increase his sales volume in a security or set of securities, he may choose to sell them at markdown prices. In other words, if a broker sells a security to a client at a lower price than the highest bid (selling) price in the securities market among brokers, the price is a markdown price.

To illustrate, suppose a broker sells shares of XYZ stock to his clients at $20 per share. He originally purchased the shares in the broker market at $40 per share. Therefore, the markdown on the shares he sells is -$20 ($20-$40).

Markdown should not be confused with markup, which is the positive spread between the lowest bid price in the brokers market and the higher price a broker charges to clients.

Why It Matters

The motivation for a broker to sell securities at markdown prices is to kindle trading activity among clients in the hopes that the multiple commissions on a higher sales volume will offset money lost in the negative spread.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of markdown

: a reduction in price

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Comments on markdown

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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