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

The combination of incentives and potential traffic improvements is helping intensify the growth, McCrady said. Drew Jones, Houston Chronicle, "Developers flock to Northpark Drive in Kingwood ahead of $90M expansion," 24 Aug. 2019 The baseball star could settle the legal matter, Duran said, by paying a traffic fine and pledging to compensate the officer — a practice that is legal under Dominican law. Bob Hohler, BostonGlobe.com, "Dominican official probing David Ortiz shooting is also on MLB payroll," 24 Aug. 2019 As Koretz and police officials spoke, six LAPD traffic officers rode by on motorcycles near Fairfax High School. Los Angeles Times, "As scooters flood Los Angeles, the number of tickets written to riders is soaring," 23 Aug. 2019 But a ticket could be issued if the vehicle is stopped for another traffic infraction. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "People can now be fined for smoking in cars carrying minors in Illinois," 23 Aug. 2019 For traffic conditions, check the Alaska Department of Transportation’s 511 travel information site. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Southcentral Alaska wildfire roundup: Calmer winds aid firefighters, but evacuation notices remain in place," 23 Aug. 2019 Infrastructure is desperately needed for Russia to coax more traffic through its Northern Sea Route — a shipping lane that historically requires an icebreaker to traverse for much of the year. NBC News, "Russia's 'floating Chernobyl' nuclear plant begins voyage north," 23 Aug. 2019 Finally, a car stopped and blocked traffic behind it. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "‘Just because you’re signaling doesn’t mean I have to let you in’: Roadshow," 23 Aug. 2019 Lachazo’s other troubles in South Florida involve a string of traffic tickets. Juan Ortega, sun-sentinel.com, "Deadly delivery: Suspect in vicious Boca murder has had run-ins with the law before," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Evidence at trial established that Adams was the nucleus of a large drug-trafficking conspiracy. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "St. Paul man convicted of trafficking meth on South Dakota reservations," 24 Aug. 2019 As district attorney in 2005, Harris launched an initiative to reduce recidivism among first time drug-trafficking defendants. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "Kamala Harris' Attorney General Record, Explained," 16 Aug. 2019 Is that why Netflix is seemingly showing more interest in bilingual, cross-cultural series like Narcos: Mexico or the drug-trafficking drama Yankee? John Hecht, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Indie Producer Argos (With a Lot of Help From Netflix) Transformed Mexican TV," 14 Aug. 2019 The victims are from Honduras and may have been trafficked to the United States by a criminal enterprise. NBC News, "North Carolina man allegedly held woman, 8-month-old baby captive and used her as sex slave," 20 Aug. 2019 On either side of the men were small, curtained alcoves in which women who had been trafficked from West Africa received clients for $19 a session. Sean Williams, Harper's magazine, "The Black Axe," 19 Aug. 2019 The Lake Highlands council member said the area is a crime hot spot, so much so the feds began to crack down on area convenience stores where drugs are sold and women are trafficked in the parking lot during daylight hours. Robert Wilonsky, Dallas News, "Dallas tosses proposed housing-for-homeless sites after pushback from Lake Highlands," 17 Aug. 2019 The original Will & Grace trafficked in plenty of troublesome stereotypes, but nonetheless broke ground as a hit network show centering on a gay man and his friends, and putting his romantic life on par with his straight female roommate’s. Joanna Scutts, Curbed, "The shows we’ve lived by," 14 Aug. 2019 He—and sometimes, shamefully, the media that covered his activities—trafficked in euphemism, disguising the horrors he was accused of in slippery forms of storytelling. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "‘Epstein Is Gone, but Justice Must Still Be Served’," 10 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

27 Aug 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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