trade

noun
\ ˈtrād How to pronounce trade (audio) \

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

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Other Words from trade

Verb

tradable or less commonly tradeable \ ˈtrā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce tradeable (audio) \ adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Any new tariffs on Mexico could imperil the trade deal’s progress, and Trump has reserved the right to reignite the dispute. Josh Wingrove And Justin Sink / Bloomberg, Time, "Trump to Host Canada's Trudeau Next Week to Discuss Trade Deal and Huawei," 14 June 2019 What if Chinese leaders try to push the election in his opponents’ favor, in hopes of ending the trade war? Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Enemy of the State," 13 June 2019 That reflects the higher tariffs Trump has imposed on China and other nations as part of his effort to strike better trade deals. Martin Crutsinger, Twin Cities, "May budget deficit hits record $207.8 billion," 12 June 2019 Trump also is likely to try to sell farmers on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, which remains to be ratified by lawmakers in each country. Thomas Beaumont And Darlene Superville, chicagotribune.com, "Biden and Trump head to Iowa in a potential 2020 preview," 11 June 2019 And on his state visit to London last week, the president met with and praised Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party that wants Britain to leave the EU with no trade deal, which will gravely weaken America’s closest European ally. Trudy Rubin, The Mercury News, "Rubin: Trump’s nationalism vs. Macron’s plea for a strong alliance," 11 June 2019 Over the weekend, the deal prompted congressional Republicans to call for action on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trump's new North American trade deal, which has yet to be approved by Congress. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump defends deal with Mexico that critics say will do little to curb migrant crisis," 10 June 2019 The implication is that any trade deal cannot be seen as bowing to US demands (paywall). Mary Hui, Quartz, "China used to find it too humiliating to send Hong Kong extradition requests," 10 June 2019 And now the soybean crop, already affected by a trade war, is starting to fall behind, too. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "With billions of dollars on the line, Indiana farmers scramble to get their crops planted," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The seats will be movable, positioned far enough apart so driver and passenger don't need to trade cooties. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "The Lotus Type 130 Is a Lean, Mean Electric Hypercar Debuting on July 16," 31 May 2019 The world is out of tune, spirits broken, and the staging by director Rachel Chavkin, Mitchell’s collaborator since 2013, trades song and dance for singing bodies straining in muscular rhythm. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell’s Musical Where Work Is Hell, Makes It to the Big Time," 19 Apr. 2019 In season one Daenerys was raped, molested, and traded like property by her own brother. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Daenerys Targaryen Will Sit on the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones, and You Know It," 12 Apr. 2019 The signing comes a month after general manager Dave Gettleman stunned many by trading Beckham to the Browns for the No. Tom Canavan, The Seattle Times, "After trading Beckham, Giants made sure Shepard stays," 12 Apr. 2019 Cardi would very likely give a much better, much more truthful rebuttal to a State of the Union address, which Trump has now agreed to postpone after trading a series of aggressive letters with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Vogue, "Stephen Colbert (And Thousands of Other People) Want Cardi B to Give the State of the Union Rebuttal," 24 Jan. 2019 Hailey Bieber surprised fans this week by trading her signature blonde style for bubblegum pink hair. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Bieber Just Dyed Her Hair Bubblegum Pink, & She Looks Incredible," 12 Jan. 2019 And Trump’s tariffs on all imported steel and aluminum, which went into effect in March, have led other US trading partners to add their own retaliatory duties on American goods, including dairy, pork, apples, and potatoes. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Trump’s trade war on Christmas," 29 Nov. 2018 The visit also comes as China is reaching out to trade partners amid a tariff war with the United States. Fox News, "China's Xi plans to meet Putin on visit to Russian port city," 7 Sep. 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.

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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

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Learn More about trade

Statistics for trade

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trade

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

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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
US, 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 How to pronounce trade (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on trade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trade

Spanish Central: Translation of trade

Nglish: Translation of trade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trade for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trade

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