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 Police located a car matching the description and initiated a traffic stop. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, "Police escort shoplifter back to store: North Ridgeville Police Blotter," 12 Jan. 2020 Publicly reporting that data — on traffic stops and searches and on citizen complaints against the fire and police departments — has been less than successful. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fire and Police Commission struggles with huge sets of data, time-consuming work on stop-and-frisk reforms," 10 Jan. 2020 Videos released by the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday show that a 27-year-old man shot by two troopers after a traffic stop last summer was holding a gun. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "House speaker accused of retaliation, Iranian cyberattacks increasing, Pete Buttigieg in Dallas," 9 Jan. 2020 Beaudion was taken into custody after a traffic stop on Monday evening, the Argus Leader reports. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "Missing S.D. Woman Is Found Dead After Car Was Seen Engulfed in Flames," 9 Jan. 2020 After his 2018 arrest during a traffic stop, Shemwell has made multiple negative comments publicly about local police, according to the Texas Tribune. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "Texas city councilman faces recall following proposed 'black state of emergency' resolution," 8 Jan. 2020 Police charged an Alvin man, 27, with DWI after a traffic stop for a defective headlamp Dec. 27 in the 2900 block of FM 528. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Burglar strikes gas station, smoke shop in Friendswood," 8 Jan. 2020 Last month a police officer in Houston was run over and killed during a traffic stop. Tom Bartlett, Wired, "Please Stop Sending Terrifying Alerts to My Cell Phone," 7 Jan. 2020 The inaccurate documentation was intended to boost traffic stop statistics, LAPD officer Mike Lopez told CNN. Madeline Holcombe And Alexandra Meeks, CNN, "3 LAPD officers suspended for falsely labeling gang members to boost statistics," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most face federal racketeering charges for allegedly trafficking drugs, laundering money and committing assaults, robberies and other violent crimes and conspiring to commit more than 10 murders. Philip Marcelo, sun-sentinel.com, "Feds: Over 60 Latin Kings members arrested along East Coast," 6 Dec. 2019 According to the statement, the brothers were released from federal prison in 2015 after being convicted of trafficking drugs together in 2009. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage brothers sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking together, again," 21 Nov. 2019 Liu and Jiang were accused of manufacturing and trafficking illicit drugs. Fox News, "China sentences fentanyl trafficker to death, others up to life in prison after US tip in drug case," 8 Nov. 2019 Clemente was being held for an indictment of two felony counts of complicity to trafficking drugs. chicagotribune.com, "4 inmates who escaped from Ohio jail arrested in North Carolina after more than a day on the run," 30 Sep. 2019 Clemente was being held for an indictment of two felony counts of complicity to trafficking drugs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "All 4 escapees from Ohio jail arrested in North Carolina," 30 Sep. 2019 The former owner of the popular club Moda on West 25th Street was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison in 2006 for trafficking drugs. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Former Ohio City nightclub owner sentenced to prison for leading drug ring," 26 Aug. 2019 Separately, Canadian man Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who had previously been found guilty of trafficking drugs to China, was rapidly retried in January and sentenced to death. Brad Lendon, CNN, "Chinese fighters buzz Canadian warship, witness says," 28 June 2019 The federal jury trial of a former DEA agent charged with bribery and participating in a drug-trafficking conspiracy will begin March 30, according to an order filed in federal court in Little Rock. Linda Satter, Arkansas Online, "Trial of former Little Rock DEA agent pushed back to March; charges say drug dealer’s bribe taken," 26 Dec. 2019

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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 20 January 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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