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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The officer was stopped in traffic near 484 Moreland Avenue, just south of Mansfield Avenue, around 10:30 p.m. when his 2019 Dodge Charger was taken at gunpoint, according to a news release. Rosana Hughes, ajc, 2 May 2022 Everything from sitting in traffic to standing in line at the Social Security Office is an adventure. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, 28 Apr. 2022 The Rams’ fields are only available for Angel City to use in the afternoons, leaving players to wait around most of the day for practice and then crawl home in rush-hour traffic. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 The congressmen flew back home from D.C. to attend the memorial, then got stuck in Friday night traffic. Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 The devices were discovered after workers monitoring the district's systems noted aberrations in network traffic, according to Galveston ISD President Tony Brown. Dan Carson, Chron, 26 Apr. 2022 The theater stayed in business for several years, surviving a change in ownership from Loews to AMC in 2006 and a decline in foot traffic at the mall next door. cleveland, 26 Apr. 2022 Rather than occupying any city, these truckers embarked on hours-long demonstrations that amounted to sitting in traffic on the Capital Beltway and later driving in D.C. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2022 National Review and Reason continue to lead in traffic among groups anchored on their magazines. Alejandro Chafuen, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their projects often traffic in provocative visuals and effects, sending their viewers down unanticipated rabbit holes, testing people’s limits for farts, warts, and all. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 The indictment accuses Treviño of conspiring to traffic large quantities of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine and using firearms — including machine guns — to facilitate those crimes. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Mar. 2022 Or, foster kids who get trafficked will be used by the traffickers to traffic their friends. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Jan. 2022 The directors who traffic in these stories often do so from a place of detachment, able to register the suffering of their subjects while ignoring the many layers of their humanity. Jourdain Searles, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Jan. 2022 Smith said the fundamental problem with ODOT’s approach is the assumption that highway congestion is the main cause of emissions — rather than simply traffic itself. oregonlive, 28 Nov. 2021 There are many brokerage firms that traffic in fix-to-float bonds. Marilyn Cohen, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 And yet, the world does not traffic in moral absolutes. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Immigrant stories often traffic in themes of sacrifice and intergenerational strife, where the past is meaningful only as an obligation, or a set of traumas, to be silently shouldered. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 26 July 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of traffic

Noun

1511, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1537, 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 1511

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Dictionary Entries Near traffic

Trafalgar, Cape

traffic

trafficability

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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for traffic

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

More from Merriam-Webster on traffic

Nglish: Translation of traffic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traffic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about traffic

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