traveling salesman


: a traveling representative of a business concern who solicits orders usually in an assigned territory

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Mandelbaum is a traveling salesman who has been out of town for a couple of weeks. Caren Schnur Neile, Sun Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2023 Thanksgiving, when people across America (like a fussy advertising executive played by Steve Martin and a gregarious traveling salesman played by John Candy) endure the nightmare of cross-country travel. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2022 The supercomputer is able to solve a traveling salesman problem by comparing the length of all of the possible routes and choosing the shortest. Jennifer Welsh, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2010 With the assurance of a traveling salesman, DJ leaned across the airplane seat and helped his cousin Hunter, who was 8, click the seatbelt in place. Sam Dolnick, New York Times, 14 Dec. 2022 The idea is illustrated by imagining a traveling salesman who has to visit a number of towns, in any order but without retracing their steps, and doing it while covering the shortest distance (or in the shortest amount of time) possible. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 Yankovic's dad never went so far as to smash his beloved accordion, but the musician really did acquire said accordion from a traveling salesman, like the one played by Thomas Lennon in the film. Christian Holub,, 7 Nov. 2022 Linda can sometimes seem a hand-wringing doormat as Willy looks for an outlet for his frustrations over a traveling salesman’s job that leaves him psychically depleted. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2022 Thus, the idea of the traveling salesman Hill swindling the locals into investing in a boys’ marching band, with the intent of skipping town before teaching them a note, held up as well. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 29 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'traveling salesman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of traveling salesman was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near traveling salesman

Cite this Entry

“Traveling salesman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

traveling salesman

: a traveling representative of a business who solicits orders

More from Merriam-Webster on traveling salesman

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