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

Sound designer Jake Rodriguez also breaths life into this world with traffic and cricket noises or tense heartbeat thumping. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Magic Theatre’s barrio ‘Oedipus’ dazzles a decade later," 14 June 2019 Valerio was charged with trafficking over 100 grams of heroin, operating a vehicle under suspension, and refusing to identify himself, as well as traffic and equipment violations. BostonGlobe.com, "Man arrested on heroin trafficking charges in Lawrence," 14 June 2019 Arcadia is suffering from many of the same challenges facing other bricks-and-mortar retailers, including declining foot traffic and expensive leases. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "Creditors Approve Rescue Plan for Topshop Parent," 13 June 2019 Ahead of the city’s vote last year, the development received some pushback from Coliseum Oaks residents worried about rising property taxes, worsening traffic and poor communication about the project. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Huge East Side mixed-use project moving forward," 12 June 2019 In the latest case, decided Monday, the court upheld a lower court ruling that threw out a collection of lawsuits alleging dust, traffic and noise from gas operations were creating a nuisance for nearby landowners. Ken Ward Jr., ProPublica, "Fracking Companies Lost on Trespassing, but a Court Just Gave Them a Different Win," 12 June 2019 The man was cited for the traffic and drug offenses. cleveland.com, "Man arrested for beating woman while in parked car: Beachwood Police Blotter," 11 June 2019 The agency applied for a U.S. Department of Justice grant worth more than $500,000, seeking 150 body camera systems to fully equip deputies in the traffic and patrol divisions. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "Osceola sheriff seeks federal grant to help cover purchase of 150 body cameras," 10 June 2019 The grounds of the base were a quiet green oasis from the traffic and noise of the capital. Daniel Castro, Harper's magazine, "The Truce," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Otherwise, the church is concealed to motorists and pedestrians alike who are traveling on the adjacent and highly trafficked Lake Woodlands Drive. Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, "Impact Church of The Woodlands members are concerned about rise of vandalism on property," 14 June 2019 Meanwhile, Oregon US Attorney Billy Williams has demanded lawmakers get control of excess marijuana being trafficked out of state and cited the medical industry as a potential source of illicit cannabis. Angeliki Kastanis, BostonGlobe.com, "Broad pot legalization can hurt the medical marijuana industry, AP finds," 11 June 2019 In southern China, trafficked women from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has typically met that demand. Julie Zaugg, CNN, "These North Korean defectors were sold into China as cybersex slaves. Then they escaped," 9 June 2019 Activists have organized along Nepal’s border with India to intercept young brides at risk of being trafficked into prostitution. Bhadra Sharma, New York Times, "As World Makes Gains Against Child Marriage, Nepal Struggles to Catch Up," 6 June 2019 Countries around the world are changing document requirements for entry because of heightened security and child-trafficking concerns. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Think You Need Only Your Passport to Travel? You’d Better Check," 27 Mar. 2019 The claim alleged that the trademark has been confiscated by the Cuban government and trafficked by AB InBev, the filing said. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Companies in Cuba Face Legal Risks as U.S. Changes Stance on Seized Property," 2 May 2019 Bruno said her daughter was trafficked by several men after being lured to Chicago by someone online. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mom, activists find missing Milwaukee girl in Chicago after disturbing video posts on Facebook," 29 June 2018 One of the more uncomfortable parts of the HBO series was the way its characters trafficked in racial and ethnic stereotypes to build the theme parks. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'Westworld' recap: A trip to Ghost Nation," 10 June 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

18 Jun 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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