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

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 Over the past few years, many have noticed a steady thinning of traffic along what was once one of St. Paul's premier commercial corridors. James Walsh, Star Tribune, "Project to replace St. Paul's Dixie's On Grand sparks neighborhood debate," 4 May 2021 In the audio, there’s the sound of the river, the jingle of Banana’s collar, birdsong and the hum of traffic in the distance. New York Times, "From Claire Rousay, Field Recordings for a Modern World," 3 May 2021 On Saturday, officers on patrol around 3 a.m. spotted Burnette riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic on Delafield Avenue at West 246th Street and tried to issue him a ticket. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "NYC man charged with hate crime in vandalism spree at synagogues," 2 May 2021 The parking lot will be reconfigured to improve flow of traffic as part of the project. Ricardo Cano, San Francisco Chronicle, "Drakes Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore is closing for 4 months of restoration and road repairs," 2 May 2021 The Bramblett’s vehicle was pushed into the intersection and through the opposing lanes of traffic before coming to a final rest on the curb. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Teen sentenced in deaths of Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett, wife Paula," 28 Apr. 2021 Maintains center of gravity while cutting in and out of traffic. USA TODAY, "2021 NFL draft inside linebacker rankings: Penn State's Micah Parsons headlines top LB prospects," 28 Apr. 2021 On March 11, 2019, a ShopRite tractor-trailer driven by Watson crashed into a line of traffic stopped at the red light on Route 24 and Ring Factory Road, south of Bel Air. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, "Judge dismisses all charges against truck driver in 2019 Harford County crash that killed Klein, second grader," 28 Apr. 2021 The officers initially appeared to try to get Aguirre out of the way of highway traffic by cuffing him and flipping him over a concrete median barrier. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Appeals court finds judge wrongly granted qualified immunity to police in 2013 death of man on U.S. 90," 28 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cuomo would soon traffic in more egregious meddling. New York Times, "Andrew Cuomo’s White-Knuckle Ride," 13 Apr. 2021 The length of time Mearan was allegedly able to traffic women without being caught shocks him. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, "'It's not that we weren't trying.' Why it took decades to arrest Michael Mearan," 27 Nov. 2020 Our community — home to people of diverse ethnicities, nationalities and faiths — has continued to reject hateful rhetoric and condemn those who traffic in xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Asad Zaman, Star Tribune, "Voters delivered a mandate to share the wealth," 13 Nov. 2020 The Big 3 of the Lions’ receiving corps can’t have a slow start or take a step back or traffic any other disappointing platitudes. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Detroit Lions can win big in 2020: Keys to success," 13 Sep. 2020 Snacks will be available, and officers with the Pine Bluff Police Department will be on hand to help will traffic control. Arkansas Online, "Pine Bluff Calendar of Events," 5 Sep. 2020 Your odds of seeing wild animals — ranging from arctic ground squirrels, marmots and Dall sheep to bears and moose — are good, considering the trail isn’t as trafficked as others in the Chugach. Bailey Berg, Anchorage Daily News, "Hikes near Anchorage, no matter how much time you have," 28 May 2020 Experts say that the price for abducted and trafficked infant boys tends to be higher than for girls, driven by a traditional cultural preference for boys in the family. Suyin Haynes, Time, "After 32 Years, a Missing Son Is Reunited With His Parents in China," 19 May 2020 There’s nothing more coveted by a Midwestern pass shooter than a field full of hay bales that honkers are trafficking. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "8 Tips for Perfecting the Art of Pass Shooting Waterfowl," 18 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for traffic

Time Traveler

The first known use of traffic was in 1540

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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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