mark·​down | \ ˈmärk-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce markdown (audio) \

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

marked down; marking down; marks 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

Verb marked down all seasonal goods immediately after the holidays
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The site is offering up to 70% off thousands (yes, thousands) of styles, including markdowns on covetable brands like Staud, Alice+Olivia, and Re/Done. Amanda Randone,, "Shopbop’s Major 70% Off Sale Is Filled With Designer Finds," 4 Feb. 2020 Several other tooth-friendly deals are also happening at Amazon today, but those markdowns, along with this Whitestrips sale, will be over by tomorrow. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "Brighten your smile with this one-day sale on Crest Whitestrips," 16 Dec. 2019 Drastic markdowns on cool skincare tools like Clarisonic's Mia Prima and FOREO's Luna Play Plus? Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "15 Best Ulta Black Friday Deals 2019," 29 Nov. 2019 Getting a customer’s attention is far more difficult, analysts say, as doorbusters and steep markdowns are no longer enough. Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post, "‘Everything is always marked down’: Black Friday has become just another day of sales," 28 Nov. 2019 Below is your easy-peasy guide to the most exciting discounts, markdowns, and must-click deals in Ulta's Black Friday 2019 sale. Marci Robin, Allure, "Ulta Just Revealed Its 2019 Black Friday Deals on Makeup, Hair Products, and Skin Care," 24 Nov. 2019 Loft: Take 50% off full-price styles, plus shop thousands of new markdowns, with promo code LOVEIT. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "All the best after-Christmas sales to shop before the new year starts," 27 Dec. 2019 This year, the retailers are offering up tons of great discounts for the online shopping holiday, including steep markdowns on some of the most popular items from Apple. Stacey Leasca,, "Apple devices are seriously marked down for Cyber Monday — including the newest iPad for $249," 2 Dec. 2019 Kohls: Shop up to 70% off new markdowns at Kohls' Clearance sale. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "All the best after-Christmas sales to shop before the new year starts," 27 Dec. 2019

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


1833, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for markdown

Time Traveler

The first known use of markdown was in 1833

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Statistics for markdown

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Markdown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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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


How to pronounce mark down (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of markdown

: a reduction in price

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