traffic

noun, often attributive
traf·fic | \ ˈtra-fik \

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

2 : trade, barter

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Other words from traffic

Verb

trafficker noun

Synonyms for traffic

Synonyms: Noun

business, commerce, marketplace, trade

Synonyms: Verb

deal, trade

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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

The 2000 Van Hool bus was operated by QH Express, based in Rosemead, according to federal traffic safety records. Maya Lau And Irfan Khan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tour bus driving from Pala Casino crashes in L.A., injuring 25," 14 July 2018 The effort was funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 13 July 2018 The vehicle had left the road and wasn’t visible to traffic, Martinez said. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "Motorcyclist found dead after overnight crash on Highway 65 offramp," 13 July 2018 The Gordie Howe International Bridge should open to traffic then. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why Detroit development takes so long," 11 July 2018 Letarte was on his way to a Japanese steak house on the Las Vegas Strip with Earnhardt and his now-wife Amy when they got stuck in traffic and something clicked. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "The biggest turning point in Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte's relationship," 10 July 2018 Architect Smith and others say there are ways, using retractable bollards and other movable barriers, to temporarily or periodically close Alamo Street to traffic, for parades for example, but not block it off permanently. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Officials try to avoid battle over Alamo plan," 8 July 2018 During the hearing today there was not one piece of expert testimony that countered any of our experts and their reports with regard to traffic, or impacts on local schools. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "News / Housing Lost battle on affordable housing means war on aldermanic prerogative will continue," 26 June 2018 City officials have said the improvement would alleviate awkward turning movements at the intersection and improve traffic safety. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora approves new warehouse, road change," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The only exceptions would be when there was evidence that a child was being abused or trafficked by his or her parents. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Feinstein’s migrant family bill puts her at center of opposition to Trump," 19 June 2018 There have been cases where minors have been used and trafficked by unrelated adults in an effort to avoid detention. BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s how Homeland Security’s Kirstjen Nielsen defended the controversial separation immigration policy," 18 June 2018 Police caught Battle, who allegedly had trafficked drugs since 2006, in September 2015 by tracking him to an associate's house in Michigan before arresting him in Porter County, court records state. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Former East Chicago councilman pleads guilty to killing man in 2015 while discussing drug debt," 18 June 2018 Most of his main advisers are subject to sanctions by the United States and the European Union for drug-trafficking or undermining democracy. The Economist, "As Venezuelans go hungry, their government holds a farcical election," 17 May 2018 Dunham had failed to appear for a sentencing hearing for a recent human-trafficking conviction. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "ICE agent shot would-be robber during 16-pound meth deal, records show," 10 May 2018 But the court documents portray the group as one actively trafficking in massive amounts of drugs and guns. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD, feds dismantle north-side drug-trafficking organization," 27 Feb. 2018 He is charged with seven counts, including narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "Key Moments in the Life of Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht," 19 Feb. 2015 And if poverty wasn’t bad enough, children are commonly targeted and trafficked. Alex Ortega & Charley Sullivan, Philly.com, "What can children in cages teach us?," 2 July 2018

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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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for traffic

The first known use of traffic was in 1540

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More Definitions for traffic

traffic

noun

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 \

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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