traffic

noun, often attributive
traf·​fic | \ ˈtra-fik How to pronounce traffic (audio) \

Definition of traffic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the vehicles, pedestrians, ships, or planes moving along a route
(2) : congestion of vehicles stuck in traffic
(3) : the movement (as of vehicles or pedestrians) through an area or along a route
b : the information or signals transmitted over a communications system : messages
2 : the volume of customers visiting a business establishment restaurant traffic
3a : the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system
b : the business of transporting passengers or freight
4a : import and export trade
b : the business of bartering or buying and selling
c : illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity the drug traffic
5a : communication or dealings especially between individuals or groups
b : exchange a lively traffic in ideas— F. L. Allen
6 : a concentration of participants or players and especially defensive players force difficult shots in traffic
7 archaic : wares, goods
the traffic will bear
: existing conditions will allow or permit charge what the traffic will bear

traffic

verb
trafficked; trafficking

Definition of traffic (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to carry on traffic
2 : to concentrate one's effort or interest broadly : engage, deal a writer who often traffics in hyperbole

transitive verb

1a : to travel over heavily trafficked highways
b : to visit as a customer a highly trafficked bookstore

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Other Words from traffic

Verb

trafficker noun

Synonyms for traffic

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for traffic

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 traffic in a Sentence

Noun Let's leave early to avoid rush hour traffic. Traffic is backed up to the bridge. Barge traffic was halted because of flooding. Airlines saw a decrease in passenger traffic this year. Verb arrested him for trafficking in drugs
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That led to an uptick in traffic, but Coven said that revenue has still plummeted 70% to 80% since the outbreak started. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland retail stores continue to reopen, but customers are slow to return," 31 May 2020 Both of these carriers get most of their traffic from Vancouver, B.C., which is in Canada. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Commercial flight schedules become a moving target; plus, Alyeska Resort deals and driving the Denali Park Road," 30 May 2020 The protest briefly spilled over onto Interstate 25, blocking all lanes of traffic until police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Time, "Denver Riot Police Fire Tear Gas as Hundreds Protest Death of George Floyd," 29 May 2020 That has resulted in some modest economic improvements, but in Georgia, where restaurants have been able to operate for three weeks, dine-in traffic is about 12% compared with a year ago. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Georgia reopens, is it creating a model for America?," 26 May 2020 Our traffic in Ohio was down 50 percent at one point. Fox News, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says careful reopening process showing positive results," 24 May 2020 More cyclists have understandably led to an uptick in traffic on bike paths and park trails. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Outdoor summer activities you can do in Wisconsin during the coronavirus pandemic and tips on staying safe," 22 May 2020 In the short term, the process of delivering new planes to commercial airlines has slowed as those airlines have faced a massive drop in traffic. al, "Airbus: New Mobile assembly line is ‘open for business’," 19 May 2020 Netflix said its traffic hit an all-time high in March. Klint Finley, Wired, "The Covid-19 Pandemic Shows the Virtues of Net Neutrality," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Your odds of seeing wild animals — ranging from arctic ground squirrels, marmots and Dall sheep to bears and moose — are good, considering the trail isn’t as trafficked as others in the Chugach. Bailey Berg, Anchorage Daily News, "Hikes near Anchorage, no matter how much time you have," 28 May 2020 Experts say that the price for abducted and trafficked infant boys tends to be higher than for girls, driven by a traditional cultural preference for boys in the family. Suyin Haynes, Time, "After 32 Years, a Missing Son Is Reunited With His Parents in China," 19 May 2020 There’s nothing more coveted by a Midwestern pass shooter than a field full of hay bales that honkers are trafficking. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "8 Tips for Perfecting the Art of Pass Shooting Waterfowl," 18 May 2020 Based in Jalisco, the CJNG is a nationwide paramilitary alliance of hundreds of armed gangs and corrupt military and police units, chiefly dedicated to trafficking drugs and stealing oil and gas from the state. Seth Harp, Harper's Magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 27 Apr. 2020 Based in Jalisco, the CJNG is a nationwide paramilitary alliance of hundreds of armed gangs and corrupt military and police units, chiefly dedicated to trafficking drugs and stealing oil and gas from the state. Seth Harp, Harper's magazine, "In Harm’s Way," 2 Mar. 2020 Pattengale would later learn that the man, a dealer named Yakup Eksioglu, was suspected by scholars of illicitly trafficking papyri. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 But alleged that former national police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla oversaw the shipment of tons of cocaine on behalf of Hernández and his brother Tony, an ex-congressman convicted in U.S. court last year of trafficking cocaine. Claudia Mendoza, Washington Post, "Another U.S. court filing ties the Honduran president, a Trump ally, to narcotrafficking," 30 Apr. 2020 He was sentenced to two years after being convicted in 2016 of trafficking heroin and cocaine. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Deters: Parolee went on 'spree killing,' fatally shooting two women, two men," 13 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'traffic.' 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 traffic

Noun

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Verb

1540, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for traffic

Noun

Middle French trafique, from Old Italian traffico, from trafficare to trade in coastal waters

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Time Traveler for traffic

Time Traveler

The first known use of traffic was in 1540

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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for traffic

traffic

noun
How to pronounce traffic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of traffic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: all the vehicles driving along a certain road or in a certain area
: the movement of airplanes, ships, etc., along routes
: the amount of people who pass through a certain place or travel in a certain way

traffic

verb

English Language Learners Definition of traffic (Entry 2 of 2)

: to buy or sell something especially illegally

traffic

noun
traf·​fic | \ ˈtra-fik How to pronounce traffic (audio) \

Kids Definition of traffic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the movement (as of vehicles or pedestrians) along a route
2 : the people or goods carried by train, boat, or airplane or passing along a road, river, or air route
3 : the business of carrying passengers or goods the tourist traffic
4 : the business of buying and selling : commerce
5 : exchange of information They had no traffic with the enemy.

traffic

verb
trafficked; trafficking

Kids Definition of traffic (Entry 2 of 2)

traffic

noun, often attributive
traf·​fic

Legal Definition of traffic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : import and export trade
b : the business of bartering or buying and selling
c : illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity the drug traffic
2a : the movement (as of vehicles or pedestrians) through an area or along a route
b : the vehicles, pedestrians, ships, or planes moving along a route
c : the information or signals transmitted over a communications system
3a : the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system
b : the business of transporting passengers or freight

traffic

verb
trafficked; trafficking

Legal Definition of traffic (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to carry on traffic

transitive verb

1 : to travel over
2 : to engage in the trading or bartering of

Other Words from traffic

trafficker noun

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Comments on traffic

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