wet market

plural wet markets

Definition of wet market

: a market that sells perishable items (such as fresh meat and produce) and sometimes live animals which are often slaughtered on-site But wet markets, as opposed to dry markets, which sell non-perishable goods such as grain or household products, are simply places that offer a wide range of fresh produce. Some, but not all, also sell live animals.— Ben Westcott and Serenitie Wang Experts fear a similar regulatory failure may have enabled the coronavirus outbreak: the longstanding inability to clean up so-called wet markets, which are stuffed with livestock living and dead, domesticated and wild.— Max Fisher

First Known Use of wet market

1978, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wet market

allegedly so called from the wet floors of such markets, due to the melting of ice used to keep seafood fresh and the frequent hosing down of stalls

Learn More About wet market

Time Traveler for wet market

Time Traveler

The first known use of wet market was in 1978

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near wet market

wet machine

wet market

wet milking

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wet market

Cite this Entry

“Wet market.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wet%20market. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!