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

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 Police said the roadway would be closed for four to six hours while the traffic unit investigates. The Enquirer, 24 Nov. 2021 As an officer was arriving, the patron in question was leaving in a vehicle and driving recklessly and police tried to make a traffic stop. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2021 Anselmo Acevedo-Garrido, 20, of the 6200 block of North Rockwell Street, Chicago, on Nov. 13 was charged with driving without a license and running a stop sign after a traffic stop in the 5100 block of North Oketo Avenue, police said. chicagotribune.com, 22 Nov. 2021 The county officer who pursued Smith has been placed on administrative leave, per department protocol, as internal affairs investigates his handling of the traffic stop. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2021 And in 2016, unrest flooded the city when an officer killed a Black man fleeing a traffic stop and holding a gun. Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2021 One of the women said Berry ordered her to pull down her underwear and lift her dress during a traffic stop. Guillermo Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Nov. 2021 April 11 - 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, is fatally shot by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 19 Nov. 2021 When the officer attempted to make a traffic stop on Hyde Park Avenue, the driver continued on. cleveland, 19 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are many brokerage firms that traffic in fix-to-float bonds. Marilyn Cohen, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 And yet, the world does not traffic in moral absolutes. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Immigrant stories often traffic in themes of sacrifice and intergenerational strife, where the past is meaningful only as an obligation, or a set of traumas, to be silently shouldered. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 26 July 2021 The agency, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, does not traffic in opinion. David Bauder, Fortune, 25 May 2021 The agency, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, does not traffic in opinion. David Bauder, Fortune, 25 May 2021 The agency, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, does not traffic in opinion. David Bauder, Fortune, 25 May 2021 The agency, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, does not traffic in opinion. David Bauder, Fortune, 25 May 2021 The agency, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary, does not traffic in opinion. David Bauder, Fortune, 25 May 2021

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

1511, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1537, 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 1511

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Dictionary Entries Near traffic

Trafalgar, Cape

traffic

trafficability

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Statistics for traffic

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Traffic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/traffic. Accessed 30 Nov. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on traffic

Nglish: Translation of traffic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of traffic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about traffic

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