1

traffic

noun, often attributive traf·fic \ ˈtra-fik \

Definition of traffic

1 a (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
3 a :the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system
b :the business of transporting passengers or freight
4 a :import and export trade
b :the business of bartering or buying and selling
c :illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity
  • the drug traffic
5 a :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

Examples of traffic in a Sentence

  1. Let's leave early to avoid rush hour traffic.

  2. Traffic is backed up to the bridge.

  3. Barge traffic was halted because of flooding.

  4. Airlines saw a decrease in passenger traffic this year.

Recent Examples of traffic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of traffic

Middle French trafique, from Old Italian traffico, from trafficare to trade in coastal waters

Synonym Discussion of traffic

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.

2

traffic

verb

Definition of traffic

trafficked; trafficking
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
1 a :to travel over
  • heavily trafficked highways
b :to visit as a customer
  • a highly trafficked bookstore

trafficker

noun

Examples of traffic in a Sentence

  1. arrested him for trafficking in drugs

Recent Examples of traffic from the Web

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

1540



TRAFFIC Defined for English Language Learners

traffic

noun

Definition of traffic for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of traffic for English Language Learners

  • : to buy or sell something especially illegally


TRAFFIC Defined for Kids

1

traffic

noun traf·fic \ ˈtra-fik \

Definition of traffic for Students

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.

2

traffic

verb

Definition of traffic for Students

trafficked; trafficking
:2trade 2

Law Dictionary

1

traffic

noun, often attributive traf·fic

legal Definition of traffic

1 a :import and export trade
b :the business of bartering or buying and selling
c :illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity
  • the drug traffic
2 a :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
3 a :the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system
b :the business of transporting passengers or freight

2

traffic

verb

legal Definition of traffic

trafficked; trafficking
intransitive verb
:to carry on traffic
transitive verb
1 :to travel over
2 :to engage in the trading or bartering of

trafficker

noun


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