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 Another one of our favorites for in-flight wear, the brand has markdowns up to 75 percent off. Lauren Joseph, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Labor Day Sales 2019: All Our Favorite Things to Shop This Weekend," 29 Aug. 2019 Just in time to kick up your summer workout wardrobe, Farfetch is offering markdowns on lots of really, really cute activewear pieces. SELF, "Sale Alert! This Colorful Activewear From Farfetch Will Jazz Up Your Closet," 26 July 2019 Now through July 7: Save 25% on markdowns sitewide from July 1 through 4. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "Your Guide to the Best July 4th Sales in 2019," 30 June 2019 Some of our favorite brands are offering extended sales, end-of-summer deals and fall markdowns. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "9 End Of Summer Fashion Sales To Take Advantage Of," 3 Sep. 2019 Nordstrom cardholders get special early access to the over 450 beauty exclusives and markdowns as a part of the store's longest-running tradition, going all the way back to the '60s. Allure, "Nordstrom’s Epic Anniversary Sale Starts Today — These Are All the Best Beauty Deals," 12 July 2019 Macy’s blamed the decline on heavy markdowns to move unsold inventory. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Macy’s, J.C.Penney accept that it’s Amazon’s world and they just live in it," 19 Aug. 2019 The department store chain's stock tanked as much as 18% on Wednesday, after cutting its 2019 adjusted profit on the heels of huge markdowns on products that flopped with customers. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Macy’s Stock Tanks As Old Problems Prove Intractable," 14 Aug. 2019 Even surrounded by the pandemonium of record-breaking markdowns, the highly anticipated debut of Haus Laboratories was also highly successful. Marci Robin, Allure, "Lady Gaga’s New Haus Laboratories Lip Liners and Lip Glosses Are Already the Top-Selling Products in Their Amazon Categories," 17 July 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


1859, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for markdown

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

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


How to pronounce mark down (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of markdown

: a reduction in price

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