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 Even Chinese American medical practices struggled in New York City, where one doctor attributed 10 to 15 percent drops in traffic to patients’ sudden fears of public transportation. Kim Bellware, Washington Post, "Fear sent her Chinatown restaurant spiraling. The challenges to reopening feel ‘just impossible.’," 16 May 2020 Between the last week of April and the first week of May, Massachusetts highway data revealed a 50 percent jump in traffic, although still far below the usual amount. Fox News, "Car crash death rates skyrocket in several states during coronavirus shutdown," 16 May 2020 This both reduces the huge amount of greenhouse gases emitted by cars stuck in traffic and encourages people to take alternative modes of transportation. Dean Baker, The New Republic, "Building an Economy That Works Again," 14 May 2020 The 100-year-old airline, which had played a big role in Colombia’s efforts to grow its tourism business, is the latest to suffer the calamitous effects of the near halt in global air traffic. NBC News, "Danish fourth and fifth graders go back to school in Copenhagen soccer stadium," 11 May 2020 Also telling was a 1,100% increase late last month in traffic to Feeding the Gulf Coast’s website for people seeking information about the organization’s services. al, "Is Mobile County ready to reopen?," 9 May 2020 Dubai Air Navigation Services, which runs the air-traffic control at the airport, did not respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg.com, "Report: Emirates Pilots Unaware Engines Idle in 2016 Crash," 7 May 2020 Happily, Alfa seems to have figured out that nobody really needs to feel at one with their vehicle doing 10 mph at 5 p.m. in rush hour traffic. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Alfa Stelvio ditches driver frustration, adds welcome new features," 7 May 2020 Thus, on the first day of the new school year, buses were stuck on the bridge, ambulances were locked in traffic, and the officials were gleeful about their success. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The US Supreme Court’s unanimous Bridgegate opinion reads like fiction," 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pattengale would later learn that the man, a dealer named Yakup Eksioglu, was suspected by scholars of illicitly trafficking papyri. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 But alleged that former national police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla oversaw the shipment of tons of cocaine on behalf of Hernández and his brother Tony, an ex-congressman convicted in U.S. court last year of trafficking cocaine. Claudia Mendoza, Washington Post, "Another U.S. court filing ties the Honduran president, a Trump ally, to narcotrafficking," 30 Apr. 2020 He was sentenced to two years after being convicted in 2016 of trafficking heroin and cocaine. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Deters: Parolee went on 'spree killing,' fatally shooting two women, two men," 13 Apr. 2020 Basically, the process of trafficking a siskin may start with a trapper in a rural area. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian Magazine, "Heavily Trafficked Songbirds a Victim of Venezuelan Collapse," 6 Apr. 2020 Ex-official’s brother guilty of smuggling CAIRO — An Egyptian court Saturday sentenced the brother of a former finance minister to 30 years after his conviction in two separate cases of trafficking antiquities out of the country. BostonGlobe.com, "Egypt sentences ex-minister’s brother for artifact smuggling," 15 Feb. 2020 Garcia Luna has pleaded not guilty to three counts of trafficking cocaine and making a false statement. Dallas News, "U.S., Mexico ambassadors meet to share experiences, make sure countries move forward," 28 Jan. 2020 The mother was convicted of trafficking to her daughter. Terry Demio, USA TODAY, "Covering the opioid epidemic: Despair, bravery, helplessness, iron will and too much death," 15 Dec. 2019 The mother was convicted of trafficking to her daughter. cincinnati.com, "Covering the opioid epidemic: Despair and bravery, helplessness, iron will and way too much death," 12 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for traffic

Time Traveler

The first known use of traffic was in 1540

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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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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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