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

Part of the Coral Ridge Isles neighborhood was closed to traffic while a hazardous-materials team and a bomb-and-arson squad robot checked the house. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Two arrested, pot plants seized, officers recovering after two raids," 13 July 2018 Turnout was strong as early as 6 a.m. as people crowded downtown streets that were blocked to vehicle traffic and packed with vendor tents and festival attractions. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Homewood takes spotlight on 'WGN Morning News' live block party broadcast," 13 July 2018 The city is set to change Downer Place, from Broadway downtown to where the street begins at State Street, to two-way traffic, beginning July 18. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora set to make Downer Place a two-way street through East Side," 10 July 2018 As work ends on the 1.5-mile stretch of roadway between Broad Branch Road/Blagden Avenue NW and Joyce Road NW, an additional 2.7 miles will be shut to traffic. Luz Lazo, Washington Post, "Another portion of Beach Drive reopens Monday," 8 July 2018 Courtland Avenue will also be closed to traffic between Prospect and Butler Place on July 14 and 15, according to the city. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Taste of Park Ridge fills Uptown with foods and flavors July 12-14," 6 July 2018 State Route 94 has been fully reopened to traffic following closures triggered by a separate brush fire near Dulzura, according to authorities. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fire triggers lane closures on I-8 near Alpine," 6 July 2018 Squantz Pond was closed to car traffic just a half-hour later. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Revelers Swarm State Parks, More Than A Dozen Closed By Noon," 4 July 2018 During these closures, the eastbound lanes of West Trade Street will be open to local traffic only. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte's streetcar construction is going to make driving uptown more challenging," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An investigation of a large-scale, drug-trafficking organization in Ohio led to the seizure of more than 20 pounds of drugs. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Feds: Fentanyl seized in Ohio bust could be 5 million fatal doses," 26 June 2018 Such immigration checkpoints on highways have been used by the Border Patrol for years, often along popular smuggling and drug-trafficking routes in the Southwest. Matthew Haag, BostonGlobe.com, "In Maine and N.H., border patrol checkpoints," 23 June 2018 But the images of children being trafficked and cartel members who are pumping our country with fentanyl and heroin, they are being enriched because of this human trafficking and the coyote smuggling, all have to pay after the cartels. Fox News, "Border Patrol official: Disgusting to attack border agents," 22 June 2018 But Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who took office in 2010, arranged amnesty for the drug-trafficking terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Colombia’s Presidential Showdown," 17 June 2018 The investigation of the drug-trafficking organization led to identification of nine people in key positions within the operation, all of whom were indicted on federal and state drug-trafficking, and weapons charges. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Harford deputy to receive national sheriff's award for investigation into Gun Trace Task Force," 15 June 2018 Prison officials put new book-ordering restrictions in place in April, The Washington Post reported, as a response to the high volume of drugs being trafficked into state facilities, including in the pages of books. Ann E. Marimow, Washington Post, "In a reversal, Md. prison officials lift limits on access to books for inmates," 11 June 2018 By pleading guilty to a single money-laundering conspiracy charge, Philippe avoided the risk of a trial with possible conviction on the initial charge of participating in a drug-trafficking scheme. Jacqueline Charles And Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Haiti's Guy Philippe still pursuing freedom, and $100 million, despite his guilty plea," 1 June 2018 According to police, narcotics officers began investigating the case a month ago after getting complaints from neighbors about drug-trafficking in the fourth-floor apartment. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Bristol Police: 300 Bags Of Fentanyl Thrown Out Window During Drug Bust," 26 Apr. 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

8 Oct 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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