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 But the Encore has become a significant new draw in the Boston area, even if the gambling traffic is modest by the lofty standards Wynn set in pursuit of its license. BostonGlobe.com, "But the Encore has become a significant new draw in the Boston area, even if the gambling traffic is modest by the lofty standards Wynn set in pursuit of its license.," 17 Sep. 2019 Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines because of weak enforcement of traffic laws, rickety vehicles and inadequate road safety railings and signs, especially in the countryside. Fox News, "20 Philippine villagers killed when truck falls off cliff," 17 Sep. 2019 On Sunday, Casei’s husband Michael Jones, 38, was stopped after a traffic incident. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "4 Children Who Were Missing for 6 Weeks Found Dead Hours After Mom’s Body Was Discovered," 16 Sep. 2019 Much of the message traffic the Russians collected was processed in two Russian diplomatic facilities that the Obama administration closed in 2016, citing Russia's interference in the presidential election. NBC News, "Russian spies in the U.S. collected encrypted FBI radio traffic in huge operation, but did they crack it?," 16 Sep. 2019 But because of its location near Columbia University, where day-to-day traffic is relatively minor, the list of potential buyers for the entire garage was small. New York Times, "Private Parking Goes Deluxe," 13 Sep. 2019 There are 1,400 new bus radios and five control systems and bus traffic is now off a public countywide system. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward Schools detail the security upgrades since Parkland shooting," 11 Sep. 2019 Glassner asked if the day’s traffic would have been a problem if another company ran the Trump website. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 By 1954, holiday weekend traffic was so heavy in Wisconsin — and crashes so frequent — that the National Guard was called in to help. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Labor Day in Milwaukee: Parades, presidents and the highway patrol," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While trafficking in rhetoric of unity and egalitarianism, Gantz is careful not to come off as too dovish. Washington Post, "Netanyahu and Gantz face off in repeat Israeli elections," 18 Sep. 2019 Previously, Richard pleaded guilty to trafficking in heroin charges in 2015. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Fifth person arrested in connection to the $1 million Fifth Third Bank theft," 12 Sep. 2019 He has always courted controversy and trafficked in insults. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Wacky, Angry, and Extreme August," 3 Sep. 2019 Steyer made a great deal of money throughout Asia, trafficking in huge coal mines and plants. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Democrats’ Debate Cowardice, Hypocrisy, and Nuttiness," 6 Aug. 2019 Hundreds of Thai women were trafficked to U.S. spas and brothels, and tens of millions of dollars were laundered back to Thailand. USA Today, "Sex trafficking is behind the lucrative illicit massage business. Why police can't stop it.," 30 July 2019 And men like Lang Long, a Cambodian who was trafficked and sold into the Thai fishing industry, are modern-day Billy Budds in a system that lacks even the rough justice of a drumhead court-martial. Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post, "How lawlessness and ignorance are harming our oceans," 12 Sep. 2019 The three biggest trafficked items in the world are drugs, arms, and wildlife. Los Angeles Times, "It’s a mammal. It looks like an artichoke. And China is driving it toward extinction," 1 Sep. 2019 By some estimates, more than 200,000 guns are trafficked into Mexico each year, many to feed the vast criminal networks fighting over the multibillion-dollar drug trade to the United States. Azam Ahmed, New York Times, "One Handgun, 9 Murders: How American Firearms Cause Carnage Abroad," 25 Aug. 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

22 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for traffic

The first known use of traffic was in 1540

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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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