merchant

1 of 3

noun

mer·​chant ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio)
1
: a buyer and seller of commodities for profit : trader
2
: the operator of a retail business : storekeeper
3
: one that is noted for a particular quality or activity : specialist
a speed merchant on the base paths

merchant

2 of 3

adjective

1
: of, relating to, used in, or engaged in commerce
The city's reputation, though, is as a merchant city in this nation historically known for its traders.Peter Theroux
2
: of, relating to, or used in a merchant marine
part of the merchant fleet
One hundred years ago, a group of 11 senators blocked a bill that would have allowed U.S. merchant ships to arm themselves against German U-boats as World War I raged in Europe.James Hohmann

merchant

3 of 3

verb

merchanted; merchanting; merchants

transitive verb

: to deal or trade in

intransitive verb

archaic : to deal or trade as a merchant

Examples of merchant in a Sentence

Noun Merchants traveled hundreds of miles to trade in the city. a family of wealthy merchants The town's merchants closed their shops during the parade. Prizes were given by local merchants.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For a complete list of all participating wineries, merchants and restaurants, visit https://www.losgatoschamber.com/wine-walk. Laura Ness, The Mercury News, 7 Apr. 2024 The marketplace has grown into a four-block community venue on Pier View Way west of Coast Highway, with nearly 200 merchants and a music street fair drawing crowds of visitors and residents on Thursday evenings. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Apr. 2024 Now, with the new fees, Amazon’s cut will rise above 50% for certain merchants. Jason Del Rey, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2024 The Baltimore Clipper, which could easily outrun British patrols, grew popular among merchants moving high-profit, low-volume goods. Rafael Vilela, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 Lawyers for merchants who had brought the case estimate that this could save about $30 billion worth of fees. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 From the 15th to the 19th century, at least 12.5 million Africans were kidnapped, forcibly transported by European ships and merchants and sold into slavery. Reuters, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024 Korean merchants have kept the Slauson swap meet alive for 40 years. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2024 Perhaps more important, merchants will be able to raise their prices based on the kind of card. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024
Adjective
OPay currently processes about 80% of bank transfers among mobile money operators in Nigeria and 20% of non-merchant point of sales transactions, Akpan said. Tope Alake, Bloomberg.com, 23 Dec. 2020 So basically merchant refineries should not be the ones that have to purchase these credits or blend the ethanol. Jacob Weisberg, Slate Magazine, 23 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'merchant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English marchant, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *mercatant-, mercatans, from present participle of mercatare to trade, frequentative of Latin mercari — more at market

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of merchant was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near merchant

Cite this Entry

“Merchant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/merchant. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

merchant

1 of 2 noun
mer·​chant ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio)
1
: a buyer and seller of goods for profit
especially : one who carries on trade on a large scale or with foreign countries
2

merchant

2 of 2 adjective
1
: of, relating to, or used in trade
a merchant ship
2
: of or relating to a merchant marine
Etymology

Noun

Middle English marchant "merchant," from early French marcheant (same meaning), derived from Latin mercari "to trade," from merc-, merx "merchandise" — related to commerce, market

Legal Definition

merchant

noun
mer·​chant ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio)
: a person who trades in goods especially of a certain kind and possesses expertise in the area of the goods and the practices of trading in them or who employs others with such expertise
a warranty that the goods shall be merchantable is implied in a contract for their sale if the seller is a merchant with respect to goods of that kindUniform Commercial Code

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