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
2 : trade, barter

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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 The timing of when the parade will arrive in each neighborhood depends on traffic. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Here is the turn-by-turn route for the Kentucky Derby Festival's 2021 Pegasus Parade," 10 Apr. 2021 Such grants are awarded to cities and states based on calculations that can include mileage of a project, volume of traffic and population of an area. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Does your state have the worst bridge in America? Joe Biden wants to know," 10 Apr. 2021 Pine Bluff police will be on duty to direct traffic. Pine Bluff Commercial, Arkansas Online, "Calendar 4-10-21," 10 Apr. 2021 As a result, online traffic will continue to increase as the trend settles in and the pandemic lingers. Gil Becker, Forbes, "The Majority Of Online Videos Are Missing This One Critical Thing," 9 Apr. 2021 Many say the change seems to make sense in more rural areas without heavy traffic. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Lots more accidents’: Mayors around Alaska question elements of Dunleavy proposal to allow four-wheelers and snowmachines on roads," 9 Apr. 2021 When George Floyd died here under the knee of a police officer last summer, the city installed concrete barricades to protect crowds from traffic. Susan Du, Star Tribune, "Church at 38th and Chicago reaches out to gang members nearby," 9 Apr. 2021 Standing before a statue of Maggie Walker, the nation’s first Black woman to charter a bank, McClellan struggled to be heard over passing traffic. Washington Post, "Many Democrats said it was time for a Black woman to lead Virginia. But the party establishment is lining up behind Terry McAuliffe.," 9 Apr. 2021 But the pandemic drove traffic down by more than 60% last year and the airport scrapped plans to expand the domestic terminal parking decks amid changing driving dynamics. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Hartsfield-Jackson using new ATL West parking deck as lots fill up," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The length of time Mearan was allegedly able to traffic women without being caught shocks him. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, "'It's not that we weren't trying.' Why it took decades to arrest Michael Mearan," 27 Nov. 2020 Our community — home to people of diverse ethnicities, nationalities and faiths — has continued to reject hateful rhetoric and condemn those who traffic in xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Asad Zaman, Star Tribune, "Voters delivered a mandate to share the wealth," 13 Nov. 2020 The Big 3 of the Lions’ receiving corps can’t have a slow start or take a step back or traffic any other disappointing platitudes. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Detroit Lions can win big in 2020: Keys to success," 13 Sep. 2020 Snacks will be available, and officers with the Pine Bluff Police Department will be on hand to help will traffic control. Arkansas Online, "Pine Bluff Calendar of Events," 5 Sep. 2020 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

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

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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