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

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 Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Philip Was Involved in a Car Accident Near Sandringham Yesterday," 18 Jan. 2019 The city faced a major air quality crisis late last year as the literally off-the-charts pollution forced flight cancellations, caused traffic accidents, closed schools, and sparked protests. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why India’s air pollution is so horrendous," 31 Oct. 2018 The 69-year-old found out the cancer had returned in 2013 after discovering a lump on her right shoulder following a minor traffic accident. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "People Rally Around Olivia Newton-John After She Announces Third Cancer Diagnosis," 10 Sep. 2018 The job has been described by state officials as the most challenging ever in Florida as far as exposing such as torrent of traffic to such lengthy and massive construction. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "I-4 construction nightmares: Drivers seeking payment for car damage face daunting odds," 13 July 2018 The kitchen is a busy area, so your flooring needs to stand up to tons of foot traffic — and spills. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "What A Kitchen Renovation Actually Costs," 13 July 2018 The new law allows drivers to cross into the left of the road center, including when a no-passing zone is marked, to pass a bicyclist if the lane is free of oncoming traffic. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Sex ed, terrorism and revenge porn: New Kentucky laws start Saturday," 13 July 2018 The service swallows up almost a third of all Internet traffic in North America. Tom Hudson, miamiherald, "The house behind ‘House of Cards’," 13 July 2018 There were no immediate reports of any traffic accidents, however. CBS News, "Wall of dust, powerful monsoon storms slam Phoenix area," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Users were able to make some ad revenue in the early 2010s with their blogs which at the time were heavily trafficked. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Who Are the Anonymous Users Running Instagram’s Most Famous Celebrity Style Instagram Accounts?," 19 July 2018 But while a photo may be viable from many roads, relatively few drivers have included any from the region’s most heavily trafficked highway, I-4. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "I-4 construction nightmares: Drivers seeking payment for car damage face daunting odds," 13 July 2018 Perhaps not, but the story of the famous photo is a useful reminder that the Daily Mail has been trafficking in viral content for almost a century. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How the Daily Mail Created the Modern Myth of the Loch Ness Monster," 21 Apr. 2017 The proposal calls for an additional $22 million in funding for the Texas Department of Public Safety to establish specialized human-trafficking squads designed to curb chronic problems in Houston and other areas of the state. Mike Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Abbott unveils plan to target sex criminals, erase rape-kit backlog," 6 Feb. 2018 Such an assertion comes over a month after a federal judge recently told the Department of Justice that such a practice—at least in one drug-trafficking case—is unconstitutional. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Feds to judge: We still think we can put GPS trackers on cars entering US," 6 Oct. 2018 Johnson, a grandmother now in her early sixties, is more than two decades into a life sentence for a first-time conviction based on her role in a drug-trafficking case. Jonathan Allen /, NBC News, "Kim Kardashian visits the White House to make clemency plea for drug-trafficking grandmother," 30 May 2018 Despite his issues with the U.S. Treasury for alleged ties to a drug-trafficking organization, which eventually paused his playing days for Atlas and the national team, Marquez claimed his innocence throughout. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "World Cup: Rafa Marquez In, Rodolfo Pizarro Out as Mexico Preliminary Squad is Announced," 14 May 2018 Jesus Santrich, is responsible for narco-trafficking crimes committed after the signing of the accord. Taylor Barnes And Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "Colombia arrests key negotiator in FARC peace deal on drug trafficking charge," 10 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

23 Apr 2019

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 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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