re·​tail | \ ˈrē-ˌtāl How to pronounce retail (audio) , especially for sense 2 also ri-ˈtāl \
retailed; retailing; retails

Definition of retail

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to sell in small quantities directly to the ultimate consumer
2 : tell, retell

intransitive verb

: to sell at retail


re·​tail | \ ˈrē-ˌtāl How to pronounce retail (audio) \

Definition of retail (Entry 2 of 4)

: the sale of commodities or goods in small quantities to ultimate consumers also : the industry of such selling
at retail
1 : at a retailer's price


re·​tail | \ ˈrē-ˌtāl How to pronounce retail (audio) \

Definition of retail (Entry 3 of 4)

: of, relating to, or engaged in the sale of commodities at retail retail trade


re·​tail | \ ˈrē-ˌtāl How to pronounce retail (audio) \

Definition of retail (Entry 4 of 4)

: in small quantities : from a retailer

Other Words from retail


retailer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for retail

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of retail in a Sentence

Verb We retail clothing at the best possible prices. jewelry that retails from $100 Noun She has a job in retail. Adjective Is that price retail or wholesale? Adverb You usually have to pay more if you buy something retail than if you buy it wholesale. The product sells retail for about $100. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For those who need more screen real estate, the HP Spectre x360 16-inch will retail starting at $1,649.99. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 19 May 2022 In other words, not every ticket for the artist’s entire tour schedule will necessarily retail for $25. John Lonsdale, Rolling Stone, 4 May 2022 The new soundbar will retail for $249, according to the report. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 22 Apr. 2022 In the game, players race non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of horses, which have unique digital signatures on the blockchain and can retail for up to $100,000, against one another. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 16 Apr. 2022 Many of them now retail for double to triple the price of their original $5,600 price tags. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2022 Plastic guns that shoot Orbeeze balls retail for $55 to $86 online. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 22 Mar. 2022 May 5th, this luxury skincare must-have will retail for $86, available via the Pat McGrath website. Emerald Elitou, Essence, 26 Apr. 2022 High-end airbeds that could replace standard mattresses for users on a budget will retail between $80 and $150 in more specialized bedding outlets. Michael Pollick,, 29 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While several legislators believe downtown projects will draw new residents and increase tax revenue, the jobs described in those proposals include retail and restaurant work, which traditionally pay low wages. Anita Lee, ProPublica, 24 June 2022 Condos would fill the upper floors while the ground level would have two to three retail and restaurant spaces. Drew Dawson, Journal Sentinel, 10 June 2022 The plan also includes new frontage along Lake Street that includes a five-foot setback and landscaping, two lots for retail or restaurant uses, and a second lot that would feature a Super Suds Aurora car wash. Steve Lord, Chicago Tribune, 9 June 2022 The Athens city council on Monday approved a wave of new retail and restaurant developments for the north Alabama city that the mayor said points to the city’s growth. Paul Gattis |, al, 7 June 2022 The 35-acre Apopka City Center is expected to have as much as 200,000-square feet of retail, restaurant and office space around the Orange Blossom Trail and State Road 436 interchange, GrowthSpotter reported last year. Austin Fuller, Orlando Sentinel, 24 May 2022 Many of these workers have chosen to move on to other industries with less intimate and demanding tasks as well as better pay, e.g., gig economy, retail, restaurant and hospitality, logistics. Joseph Coughlin, Forbes, 20 May 2022 An estimated 20 condos would fill the upper floors while the ground level would have two to three retail and restaurant spaces. Drew Dawson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 May 2022 At the entrance to the area is McHenry Row, a retail and restaurant complex. Baltimore Sun, 14 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Too many of my Twitter interactions with biotech-loving retail investors are unpleasant. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, 28 June 2022 Go retail location in Washington, according to a May 27 public health alert from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 22 June 2022 Ryba's Roots will soon be sold at more dispensaries and at Classic Roots Farm's first retail location in Owosso, about 40 miles northeast of Lansing, set to open this summer. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, 17 June 2022 This activism is coincidentally aided by some Wall Street asset managers, who claim to be acting on behalf of retail investors. James Freeman, WSJ, 17 June 2022 The only way out left for retail investors is the Curve pool, which has been rapidly shrinking by 10,000-15,000 ETH a day this week. Krisztian Sandor, Fortune, 17 June 2022 National beauty store partnering with a local makeup influencer to promote a new retail location in the area. Danielle Wiley, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Gensler said Wednesday that the agency is considering whether to add more competition at the middleman level to ensure retail investors are actually getting the best prices. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 9 June 2022 Roughly 39% of the population received their first dose at a retail location, a little less than 35% chose a health care setting, and a little more than 20% chose a health department. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of retail


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1601, in the meaning defined above


1784, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retail


Middle English, from Anglo-French retaille cutting, deduction, retail, from retailler to cut out, from re- + tailler to cut — more at tailor

Learn More About retail

Time Traveler for retail

Time Traveler

The first known use of retail was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near retail



retail credit

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for retail

Last Updated

15 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Retail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for retail


re·​tail | \ ˈrē-ˌtāl How to pronounce retail (audio) \
retailed; retailing

Kids Definition of retail

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to sell in small amounts to people for their own use

Other Words from retail

retailer noun



Kids Definition of retail (Entry 2 of 3)

: the sale of products or goods in small amounts to people for their own use



Kids Definition of retail (Entry 3 of 3)

: relating to or engaged in selling products in small amounts to people for their own use retail stores

More from Merriam-Webster on retail

Nglish: Translation of retail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retail for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!