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 tradeWilliam 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 favorsT. 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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Kings were linked to trade talks involving Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram and Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, but DeRozan’s name came to the forefront in recent days. Jason Anderson, Sacramento Bee, 7 July 2024 The Athletic reported the new contract also comes with a player option and a 15% trade kicker. Bruce Haring, Deadline, 7 July 2024
Verb
The next, finding a way to create more structural and financial flexibility, which was more than accomplished in trading away Bridges. C.j. Holmes, New York Daily News, 8 July 2024 Royer says the council has been looking at ways to deal with parking such as trading some parcels and other options that would not cost them any money. Kerria Weaver, The Arizona Republic, 8 July 2024
Adjective
Regardless of the causes, a growing segment of the public in many countries has come to view trade as the main culprit behind inequality, an assumption that has fueled anti-trade politicians, such as Donald Trump, who seek to reduce the exposure of their countries to the global economy. Pascal Lamy, Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2022 Almost as soon as international trade had been liberalized, anti-trade tariffs were instituted across Europe. TIME, 18 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for trade 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 20 Jul. 2024.

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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