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

Because its clients’ online traffic is routed through Akamai, it is uniquely positioned to monitor these ebbs and flows for malicious activity. Angus Loten, WSJ, "Akamai Bets on ‘Zero Trust’ Approach to Security," 1 May 2019 But as a West Village resident, Cohen didn’t entertain the notion of high-traffic neighborhoods like Soho or the Upper East Side. Emily Farra, Vogue, "LoveShackFancy’s New Store Feels Like Stepping Into a Lush, Flower-Filled Storybook," 17 Apr. 2019 Reality shows traffic in over-the-top drama, setting their contestants up to scheme, backstab, and trample their way to the top. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Great British Baking Show Alums Reunite for Martha Collison's Wedding," 9 Apr. 2019 Best of all is the lack of light pollution or traffic—at night the only lights are the stars and moon above, and the soundtrack (in addition to the hotel’s own groovy Spotify channel) is the whistle of the wind and ocean. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to the Baja Peninsula," 29 Mar. 2019 Chronic noise—like frequent exposure to road traffic and planes flying overhead—causes small injuries to the hair cells in your ear, which transmit sound signals to the brain. Meghan Rabbitt, Woman's Day, "How To Recapture Peace and Quiet In a Noisy World," 27 Mar. 2019 People who want to watch a science fiction movie in which Los Angeles has no traffic. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Only Thing Worse Than Valentine's Day Is Valentine's Day," 14 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Season two will see Tandy experience firsthand the stories of women who have been trafficked. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Marvel's "Cloak and Dagger" Season 2 Throws Fresh Villains in the Mix and New Social Issues to Tackle," 9 Apr. 2019 On July 5, Jose Medina Ayala was charged with trafficking the hefty load into the Music City air hub from Los Angeles, News Channel 5 reports. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Man jailed for smuggling 60 pounds of marijuana into Nashville airport," 6 July 2018 Flores was also charged with trafficking cocaine, furnishing false names, and possession of suboxone. Laney Ruckstuhl, BostonGlobe.com, "Police stop car in Boston, discover drugs and more than 20 active warrants for passenger’s arrest," 28 June 2018 The indictment accuses Backpage of facilitating prostitution committed by those posting ads on the site, specifically citing 17 victims trafficked on Backpage, some as young as 14. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018 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

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

7 May 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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