mer·​chant | \ ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio) \

Definition of merchant

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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



Definition of merchant (Entry 2 of 3)

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


merchanted; merchanting; merchants

Definition of merchant (Entry 3 of 3)

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 The company’s sponsor is a partnership among affiliates of talent agency UTA, members of the management team and Connaught, a financial advisory and merchant banking firm, according to a document filed with the SEC. Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2021 Fans took to social media to express outrage at the late release, with many responding to a tweet from SoFi Stadium indicating Ticketmaster as the exclusive merchant for ticket sales. Selome Hailu, Variety, 27 Nov. 2021 Nine in 10 in-person transactions around the world occur at a merchant enabled for contactless payments. Ajay Bhalla, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 Son of a successful dry goods merchant, Olmsted tried his hand as a seaman, farmer and writer before coming into park design amid the grime and sprawl of the industrial revolution. Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant, 20 Apr. 2022 There isn’t a lot of competition in discrete merchant graphics in PC gaming, commercial, workstation, and datacenter- there’s AMD and NVIDIA. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Those who come to give April 19-May 19 will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice and will be automatically entered to win a new travel trailer camper, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2022 Searching online for that name led compliance officers to link the payment to a British fruit and vegetable merchant, according to a copy of the document. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Homer was born in Boston in 1836, the middle son of Charles Savage Homer, a hardware merchant, and Henrietta Benson Homer, who encouraged his interest in art. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: 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,, 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 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'merchant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of merchant


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for merchant


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

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Time Traveler for merchant

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

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Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Merchant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for merchant


mer·​chant | \ ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio) \

Kids Definition of merchant

1 : a person who buys and sells goods especially on a large scale or with foreign countries


mer·​chant | \ ˈmər-chənt How to pronounce merchant (audio) \

Legal Definition of merchant

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on merchant

Nglish: Translation of merchant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of merchant for Arabic Speakers


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