trade

noun
\ ˈtrād \

Definition of trade 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : the business of buying and selling or bartering commodities : commerce

(2) : business, market novelties for the tourist trade did a good trade in small appliances

b obsolete : dealings between persons or groups

2a : an act or instance of trading : transaction also : an exchange of property usually without use of money

b : a firm's customers : clientele

c : the group of firms engaged in a business or industry

3a : an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill : craft

b : the business or work in which one engages regularly : occupation

c : the persons engaged in an occupation, business, or industry

4 : a customary course of action : practice thy sin's not accidental, but a trade —William Shakespeare

5 : trade wind usually used in plural

6 : a publication intended for persons in the entertainment business usually used in plural

7a obsolete : a path traversed : way

b archaic : a track or trail left by a person or animal : tread sense 4

trade

verb
traded; trading

Definition of trade (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to give one thing in exchange for another

2a : to engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods

b : to make one's purchases : shop trades at his store

4 obsolete : to have dealings : negotiate

transitive verb

1a : to give in exchange for another commodity : barter also : to make an exchange of traded places

b : to engage in frequent buying and selling of (stocks, commodities, etc.) usually in search of quick profits

2 archaic : to do business with

trade on

: to take often unscrupulous advantage of : exploit traded on their influence … in securing special favors —T. C. Pease

trade

adjective

Definition of trade (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or used in trade

2a : intended for or limited to persons in a business or industry a trade publication trade sales

b : serving others in the same business rather than the ultimate user or consumer a trade printing house

3 or less commonly trades : of, composed of, or representing the trades or trade unions a trade committee

4 : having a larger softcover format than that of a mass-market paperback and usually sold only in bookstores trade paperbacks also : of or relating to the publishing of such books

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from trade

Verb

tradable or less commonly tradeable \ˈtrā-də-bəl \ adjective

Synonyms for trade

Synonyms: Noun

calling, employment, game, line, occupation, profession, vocation, work

Synonyms: Verb

deal, traffic

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for trade

Noun

business, commerce, trade, industry, traffic mean activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of commodities. business may be an inclusive term but specifically designates the activities of those engaged in the purchase or sale of commodities or in related financial transactions. commerce and trade imply the exchange and transportation of commodities. industry applies to the producing of commodities, especially by manufacturing or processing, usually on a large scale. traffic applies to the operation and functioning of public carriers of goods and persons.

Examples of trade in a Sentence

Noun

the trade between the two countries Trade accounts for half of our gross national product. The Tigers made a few good trades this season and picked up some promising players.

Verb

If you don't like your seat, I'll trade with you. I traded seats with her halfway through the show. He was traded to the Yankees. They traded him to the Broncos. I traded my pen for a pencil and kept writing. Their firm specializes in trading bonds. She mostly trades in stocks.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

May is proposing to maintain certain trade and economic ties that Trump thinks should be severed. Calvin Woodward And Hope Yen, chicagotribune.com, "Trump is in Europe and the truth is not with him: A fact check," 14 July 2018 Long after this month's trade frenzy is finished, and likely long into the organizational rebuild the Orioles are about to begin, Tanner Scott will still be here. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Tanner Scott can't close the door, and Orioles open series with 5-4 loss to Rangers," 14 July 2018 In principle, the tournament is an even playing field, where nations—irrespective of population, GDP, history, life expectancy, military budget, trade surplus, space program, film industry, and so on—are reduced to 11 men on the pitch. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 The fourth division, also scheduled for November, will also deal with supply-chain platforms and the linking of global ports and free-trade zones, Wu said. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 That especially holds true should the Marlins choose to trade players like Derek Dietrich, Justin Bour or Starlin Castro before this month’s trade deadline. 3. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A Closer Look: Miami Marlins 2, Philadelphia Phillies 0," 14 July 2018 But if the Mets hire someone to fill Alderson’s position, that new team architect could dangle Syndergaard as trade bait in the off-season. James Wagner, New York Times, "Syndergaard Returns for Five Innings in Mets’ Win Over Nationals," 13 July 2018 And a case can be made that the mistakes involving Miller didn’t end for the Diamondbacks with that original trade – and that those mistakes stretched into the most recent offseason. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller trade still haunting them," 13 July 2018 This week, five such residents were selected by the jail to receive the furniture, created in a construction program that allows inmates to learn a trade while making reparations to the community. Kate Santich, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Inmates build, then donate furniture to formerly homeless residents in Orlando," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pompeo made a point to mention recent threats by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes. Matthew Lee And Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting the Emirates," 10 July 2018 The ranking, which tracks the world’s 500 richest people, is updated after the close of each trading day in New York. Fortune, "Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Becomes the World’s Third-Richest Person, Passing Warren Buffett," 6 July 2018 The ranking, which tracks the world's 500 richest people, is updated after the close of each trading day in New York. Tom Metcalf And Jack Witzig, chicagotribune.com, "Zuckerberg tops Buffett as world's 3rd-richest," 6 July 2018 The first, housed at the Uffizi, focuses on the period between the 15th and 17th centuries, drawing on nearly 150 Islamic objects traded by Florentine merchants. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Two Florence Museums Are Tracing the City’s 500-Year Connection to Islamic Art," 5 July 2018 Cincinnati Reds beat writers Bobby Nightengale and John Fay breakdown each player after crossing the midway point of the season, which trades could happen before the trade deadline and thoughts on Jim Riggleman's performance as an interim manager. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Reds Beat Podcast: Breaking down the 1st half of the season," 5 July 2018 Grabner scored 25 goals in his first 59 games last season and was the leading scorer with the New York Rangers prior to being traded to the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Coyotes sign free-agent winger Michael Grabner to 3-year contract," 1 July 2018 People stealing vehicles are often trading the valuables found in the car for drugs or other things, Cooper said. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Protecting your property – and yourself – in Southcentral Alaska: Troopers and police share their tips," 1 July 2018 The Bucks, which traded for Bledsoe less than a year ago, could offer him an extension, try to find a trade partner now or before the trade deadline to recoup some value, or ride out the season with Bledsoe as their point guard. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks free agency primer: More decisions than just what to do with Jabari Parker," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The physical components of that particular device were not trade secrets or protected by federal law from being disclosed, the court filing said. Chris Fuchs, NBC News, "Scientist Formerly Accused of Spying Sues Alleging FBI Agent Falsified Evidence," 11 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of trade

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 7b

Verb

1553, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 4

Adjective

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for trade

Noun

Middle English, from Middle Low German; akin to Old High German trata track, course, Old English tredan to tread

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trade

Statistics for trade

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trade

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trade

trade

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the activity or process of buying, selling, or exchanging goods or services

: the amount of things or services that are bought and sold : the money made by buying and selling things or services

: the act of exchanging one thing for another

trade

verb

English Language Learners Definition of trade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give something to someone and receive something in return : to give something in exchange for something else

sports : to give (one of your players) to another team in exchange for one of their players

: to stop using (one thing) and start using another

trade

noun
\ ˈtrād \

Kids Definition of trade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the business or work in which a person takes part regularly : occupation

2 : the business of buying and selling items : commerce

3 : an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill : craft

4 : an act of trading : transaction

5 : the persons working in a business or industry

6 : a firm's customers

trade

verb
traded; trading

Kids Definition of trade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give in exchange for something else I'll trade my apple for your banana.

2 : to take part in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods Our country trades in many parts of the world.

3 : to deal regularly as a customer Because of bad service, I don't trade there anymore.

trade

noun

Legal Definition of trade 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the business or work in which one engages regularly

b : an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill

c : the persons engaged in an occupation

2 : the business of buying and selling or bartering commodities

3 : an act or instance of trading also : an exchange of property usually without use of money

trade

verb
traded; trading

Legal Definition of trade (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods

2 : to give one thing in exchange for another

3 : to engage in selling

transitive verb

1 : to give in exchange for another commodity also : to make an exchange of

2 : to engage in frequent buying and selling of (as stocks or commodities) usually in search of quick profits

Other words from trade

tradable also tradeable adjective
trader noun

trade

adjective

Legal Definition of trade (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or used in trade or in a particular trade or business

2 also trades : of, composed of, or representing the trades or labor unions

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on trade

What made you want to look up trade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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