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

Although City Economic Development Director Tim Boland said that the tenor of the June 25 meeting was supposed to be design, many residents still brought up more concerns about traffic and parking. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "Design on latest Top of the Hill plan draws less criticism than overall process," 29 June 2019 The car had been spun around to face traffic and did not have any lights on, authorities said. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Big rig pulled out of San Jacinto River after fatal crash," 29 June 2019 Transit officials worldwide worry that ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft are creating traffic and pulling passengers away from public transit. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile," 29 June 2019 Long-term home mortgage rates have fallen below 4%, which has spurred homebuyer traffic. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Lower mortgage costs boost housing outlook for 2019," 28 June 2019 Shams’ car slid toward oncoming traffic, grazed an Acura and then crashed into the Uber driver’s car, the sheriff’s office said. Tonya Alanez, sun-sentinel.com, "Uber driver dies in crash with out-of-control car, BSO says," 28 June 2019 Those criteria require a project be in harmony with the neighborhood, not affect the health and safety of residents, not pose unsafe traffic conditions, and not adversely affect the development of properties in the neighborhood. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Thompson PZC Hears Arguments Over Mining Operation," 28 June 2019 According to the lawsuit: Johnson, 45, was northbound on the overpass when a piece of concrete median barrier suddenly pushed into northbound traffic. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Widow of truck driver files lawsuit over fiery I-94 truck crash in Racine County," 28 June 2019 Six months into his first term as Bexar County District Attorney, Joe Gonzales delivered on his promise to revive a program that handles some low-level misdemeanors, including possession of small amounts of marijuana, more like a traffic ticket. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "Starting Monday, people caught with small amounts of pot in San Antonio won’t have to go to jail," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Perhaps Rye would permit the country to use detention centers only for those cases in which agents have reasonable suspicion that a child is being trafficked. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Angela Rye Knows You’re Racist," 24 June 2019 But, Warren's position would seem to be somewhat at odds with her prior support of federal anti-trafficking legislation. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Warren: 'I'm open' to decriminalizing sex work," 20 June 2019 Police described the investigation as an anti-trafficking operation, but no trafficking charges have been made. Molly Crabapple, The New York Review of Books, "It’s Not About Sex," 23 May 2019 On the recommendation of large anti-trafficking nonprofits, law enforcement, district attorneys’ offices, and major tech companies came out in support. Teen Vogue, "The 2020 Democratic Candidates Who Voted in Favor of SESTA/FOSTA," 2 Apr. 2019 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

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

2 Jul 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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