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

Between her podcast, newsletter, film projects, and work with 3M, Couric found time to break down the tricks to her trade. Glamour, "The Products That Give Katie Couric Instant On-Air Hair," 28 Mar. 2019 This is a golden time for postsecondary trade and tech schools. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 The Rug Doctor has earned the highest rating from the Carpet & Rug Institute — the trade organization of the carpet industry — for soil removal, water removal, and gentleness. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Carpet Cleaners to Buy in 2019," 15 Jan. 2019 Uncertainty over the costly trade dispute between the world’s largest economies has clouded the outlook for company profits. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "US stocks edge higher in early trading, extending gains," 20 Feb. 2019 The funds hold about 21% of the $8.1 trillion the Investment Company Institute, a trade group for the mutual-fund industry, estimates is in 401(k)-type accounts. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, "How Your 401(k) Could Imitate Netflix," 14 Feb. 2019 Of course, that much cachet has always come with a pretty hefty price tag (not to mention trade-only availability)—that is, until now. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Get Ready to Obsess Over The Inside's Just-Announced Scalamandré Collaboration," 14 Feb. 2019 According to the trade group Airlines for America, airlines in the US saw a 74 percent increase overall in emotional support animals from 2016 to 2017. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Delta is now restricting emotional support animals on flights. This could be a good thing.," 11 Dec. 2018 Shortages of lumber have been a common complaint among homebuilders thanks to a years-long trade dispute with Canada over softwood lumber. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Why shrinking U.S. homes may be a boost to homebuyers," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Celtics could sign Irving in July and then trade for Davis. Brett Martel, The Seattle Times, "Agent: Anthony Davis tells New Orleans that he wants a trade," 29 Jan. 2019 In a proposal reportedly cooked up by VP Mike Pence and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, the new scheme traded temporary protection for DACA recipients and some other immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for that damnable wall. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “I Never Worked for Russia!”," 20 Jan. 2019 North American foragers traded for domesticated maize for hundreds of years prior to cultivating it themselves, the paper points out. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 However, like a traditional collectible, CryptoKitties can be bought, sold, or traded for actual cryptocurrency. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "CryptoKitties Mobile App to Debut on HTC's Flagship Phone," 11 July 2018 The Rockets had pursued Anthony as a free agent in 2014 and tried to trade for him last summer. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Thunder approve Carmelo Anthony to meet with Rockets, Heat," 11 July 2018 That means customers who want to buy or trade stocks or make changes to their retirement portfolio will have to wait until the following Monday to do so. Marie Milano, Country Living, "Are Banks Open on Good Friday This Year?," 11 Mar. 2019 What started as just a few women trading clothing, shoes, and accessories in her apartment turned into ticketed events across the country with spa treatments, cocktails, and refreshments. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019 Today, athleisure is the new normal, and so the most innovative takes on comfort clothing for Fall 2019 traded a sport reference for a cozy one. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Fall 2019 Men’s Trend Report," 25 Jan. 2019

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

9 Apr 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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