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

And while looking ahead to next season is certainly exciting, the prospect of Black Friday markdowns is just as (if not more!) exhilarating. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Best Online Black Friday Fashion Deals to Shop From Home," 22 Nov. 2018 Growth in its core soup business fell in all but one of the past seven years and in the most recent quarter the company booked a sizable markdown of its fresh-foods business. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, "Third Point Has Built Campbell Soup Stake Worth More Than $300 Million," 31 July 2018 Already Nordstrom cardholders have scoped out early deals on everything from beauty products to shoes and handbags—but regular shoppers are coming in now and being greeted by new products and markdowns that'll definitely leave them satisfied. Glamour, "Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018: Best Fashion Buys Under $200," 20 July 2018 Because of their skills, the store's employees actually revealed to them their markdown patterns. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Here Are The Best Days To Shop At Target, Based On What You’re Looking For," 12 Oct. 2018 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 Nordstrom cardholders get a special early access to the over 450 beauty exclusives and markdowns as a part of the store's longest-running traditions, going all the way back to the '60s. Lauren Swanson, Allure, "Nordstrom’s Epic Anniversary Sale Started Today — Here’s What to Shop," 12 July 2018 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

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

21 Dec 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

More from Merriam-Webster on markdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with markdown

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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