1

trade

noun \ ˈtrād \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of trade

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 4

Examples of trade in a Sentence

  1. the trade between the two countries

  2. Trade accounts for half of our gross national product.

  3. The Tigers made a few good trades this season and picked up some promising players.

Recent Examples of trade from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of trade

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

Synonym Discussion of 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.

2

trade

verb

Definition of trade

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 :sell 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

or less commonly tradeable play \ˈtrā-də-bəl\ adjective
trade on
:to take often unscrupulous advantage of :exploit
  • traded on their influence … in securing special favors
  • —T. C. Pease

Examples of trade in a Sentence

  1. If you don't like your seat, I'll trade with you.

  2. I traded seats with her halfway through the show.

  3. He was traded to the Yankees.

  4. They traded him to the Broncos.

  5. I traded my pen for a pencil and kept writing.

  6. Their firm specializes in trading bonds.

  7. She mostly trades in stocks.

Recent Examples of trade from the Web

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.

First Known Use of trade

1553


3

trade

adjective

Definition of trade

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

Recent Examples of trade from the Web

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.

First Known Use of trade

1625


TRADE Defined for English Language Learners

trade

noun

Definition of trade for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of trade for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

trade

noun \ ˈtrād \

Definition of trade for Students

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

2

trade

verb

Definition of trade for Students

traded; trading
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.

Law Dictionary

1

trade

noun

legal Definition of trade

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

2

trade

verb

legal Definition of trade

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

also tradeable adjective

trader

noun

3

trade

adjective

legal Definition of trade

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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