trade

1 of 3

noun

1
a(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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
7
a
obsolete : a path traversed : way
b
archaic : a track or trail left by a person or animal : tread sense 4

trade

2 of 3

verb

traded; trading

intransitive verb

1
: to give one thing in exchange for another
2
a
: to engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods
b
: to make one's purchases : shop
trades at his store
3
4
obsolete : to have dealings : negotiate

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
tradable adjective
or less commonly tradeable

trade

3 of 3

adjective

1
: of, relating to, or used in trade
2
a
: 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
Phrases
trade on
: to take often unscrupulous advantage of : exploit
traded on their influence … in securing special favors T. C. Pease
Choose the Right Synonym for trade

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.

Example Sentences

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
Sunday was Bagley's first game in Sacramento, against the team that drafted him second overall in 2018, since the Pistons traded for him before the 2022 trade deadline last season. Detroit Free Press, 21 Nov. 2022 But Deasy, a statistician by trade, doesn't think a 20-point swing is realistic considering how the votes have gone so far this week. The Arizona Republic, 12 Nov. 2022 Jennifer Simonson is a travel writer by trade and a lover of the world’s food, cultures, drinks and outdoor spaces by nature. Jennifer Simonson, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2022 Smotrich, a lawyer by trade, has called for major legal reforms. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2022 In both cases, the swings were driven by international trade. Ben Casselman, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Oct. 2022 In both cases, the swings were driven by international trade. Ben Casselman, New York Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Rand Paul is an eye doctor by trade and the son of former Libertarian-leaning congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul. USA Today, 26 Oct. 2022 Though Alwyn is an actor by trade, he's also flexed his songwriting muscles with contributions to recent Swift records. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 19 Oct. 2022
Verb
In June 2019, conflicting reports surfaced about whether the Celtics would have been willing to trade Tatum to the Pelicans in a deal for Davis. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Nov. 2022 The Chicago Bears agreed to trade linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Oct. 2022 The team agreed to trade linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for a second- and fifth-round pick in next year's draft and linebacker A.J. Klein, according to reports. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 31 Oct. 2022 He wasn’t shocked when Jazz CEO Danny Ainge and GM Justin Zanik made the deal to trade him to the Wolves. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Oct. 2022 The idea was to trade territory in the short term in order to pick off Russian units once they were overextended. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 2022 Sources informed The Republic that Phoenix tried to trade Crowder this month to Utah for Bojan Bogdanovic, but talks broke down when the Suns asked for Jarred Vanderbilt, who the Jazz acquired from Minnesota in the blockbuster Rudy Gobert deal. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 28 Sep. 2022 Brown’s official emergence—and the impending return of Lance McCullers, Jr.—likely helped the Astros decide to trade Jake Odorizzi to Atlanta for reliever Will Smith. Michael Murney, Chron, 1 Sep. 2022 The Nationals agree to trade superstar Juan Soto to the Padres. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022
Adjective
In a post-trade session with reporters, general manager Don Sweeney noted his encouragement over prospects Cole Spicer (Minnesota-Duluth) and Matthew Poitras (OHL Guelph). Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Oct. 2022 The company has already introduced pre-trade verifications, which can help users avoid phishing, along with a verification system for vetted cryptocurrencies. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, Fortune, 12 Oct. 2022 Ryan, who has long staked out a spot in the anti-trade wing of the Democratic Party, appeals to blue-collar workers by supporting a blend of tariffs and industrial policy. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2022 To give way on those would be to risk aggravating anti-trade sentiment in the U.S. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 29 Aug. 2022 No-nonsense manager Bob Melvin’s bottom line: ‘Play better’ Sitting unread in the email in-box Saturday morning was, at this head-scratching point, a seemingly reasonable thought about how to deal with the Padres’ post-trade deadline morass. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 To date, there has been no Biden relief from the anti-trade positions and the situation has actually gotten worse. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 And the New York Yankees added to their pre-trade deadline acquisition of All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi by adding a top setup man from the Chicago Cubs to their bullpen. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2022 And instead of being defensive about the decision, the Biden administration—and both parties in Congress—should pivot toward an unapologetically pro-trade agenda. Stephanie Murphy, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near trade

Cite this Entry

“Trade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trade. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

trade 1 of 3

noun

1
: the business or work in which a person takes part regularly : occupation
2
: an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill
3
: the persons working in an occupation, business, or industry
4
: the business of buying and selling items : commerce
5
a
: an act or instance of trading : transaction
b
: an exchange of property without use of money : swap
6
: a firm's customers
7
: trade wind
usually used in plural

trade

2 of 3

verb

traded; trading
1
a
: to give in exchange for something else
b
: to make an exchange of
traded places
2
a
: to take part in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods
b
: to deal regularly as a customer

trade

3 of 3

adjective

: of, relating to, or used in trade

Legal Definition

trade 1 of 3

noun

1
a
: 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

2 of 3

verb

traded; trading

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
tradable adjective
also tradeable
trader noun

trade

3 of 3

adjective

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

More from Merriam-Webster on trade

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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