whole·​sale | \ ˈhōl-ˌsāl How to pronounce wholesale (audio) \

Definition of wholesale

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: the sale of commodities in quantity usually for resale (as by a retail merchant)



Definition of wholesale (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : performed or existing on a large scale especially without discrimination wholesale slaughter
2 : of, relating to, or engaged in the sale of commodities in quantity for resale a wholesale grocer



Definition of wholesale (Entry 3 of 4)

: in a wholesale manner


wholesaled; wholesaling

Definition of wholesale (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to sell (something) in quantity usually for resale

intransitive verb

: to sell in quantity usually for resale

Examples of wholesale in a Sentence

Adjective The crops originated from wholesale growers. Is that price retail or wholesale? Verb The company wholesales clothing to boutiques in the area.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Epic, founded in 2013 and based 30 miles south of San Francisco, said no school system had ever removed its app wholesale until Williamson County did so early last month. David Ingram, NBC News, 12 May 2022 Selling fish wholesale may pay more than selling baskets, but artisanal kapenta fishing is equally hard work and demanding on families. Farai Shawn Matiashe, CNN, 22 Apr. 2022 Jokr buys their groceries at wholesale and then sells the products at a higher price. Brittain Ladd, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 During the coronavirus shutdown, Koolfi shifted largely to wholesale — pints are now sold in a dozen Bay Area stores — and home delivery, both of which will continue after the shop is open. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2022 Ongoing supply chain issues have plagued the industry since April of last year and are a result of a stale and outdated wholesale to retail model that requires very long ordering lead times to get products into stores. Shelley E. Kohan, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 Vuori’s wholesale and e-commerce international partners include Selfridges, Brown Thomas, Cotswold Outdoor, Barry’s Bootcamp and Bever. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Businesses added 2,400 retail jobs and another 1,800 in wholesale. Stephen Singer, courant.com, 24 Mar. 2022 That means almost everyone will pay taxes on fuel bought wholesale between March 29-31 and then absorb the loss. Keith M. Phaneuf, courant.com, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Leahy plans to utilize wholesale partners—think: Ulta and Sephora—to grow the business going forward. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 May 2022 Many of those fell into such sectors as food services, construction, entertainment and wholesale trade. John D. Harden, Washington Post, 24 May 2022 Industry sectors showing the most gains include natural resources, wholesale trade, professional and business services, and private educational services. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 May 2022 Futures and wholesale markets are complex and prices move for many reasons. Timothy Puko, WSJ, 23 May 2022 It’s because this French master chocolatier (Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier) has spent much of his career teaching and also producing chocolates on the wholesale and corporate level in France and, for the past eight years, in New Jersey. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 23 May 2022 Shanghai has gradually reopened convenience stores and wholesale markets and allowed more people to walk out of their homes, with community transmissions largely eliminated. Reuters, NBC News, 22 May 2022 In addition to operating direct to the consumer, Levi’s supports wholesale partners, including Amazon, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. Randy Bean, Forbes, 19 May 2022 The wholesale price index hit a record high of 15.1%, the outcome of rising prices of vegetables, fruits, milk, manufacturing, fuel, and power. Mitali Mukherjee, Quartz, 19 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Many of these scenes are lifted wholesale from her own life. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2022 Dealers would buy cars wholesale at set prices from automakers. Chris Isidore, CNN, 19 Feb. 2022 Neither Asket or Birdsong sell wholesale to avoid the pressure from retailers to produce new collections, and their pool of potential investors was narrowed down to those who share their purpose. Olivia Pinnock, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 But there's one other matter to wrap up before moving wholesale into 2022: my prediction for the biggest gaming product to not last past the end of this new year. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Jan. 2022 But Trump’s wild-eyed notions about presidential power, while extreme, did not spring wholesale from his imagination. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2021 Under a shift first announced in 2017, Nike is emphasizing direct-to-consumer sales while limiting wholesale to a few accounts that best support its positioning. Tom Ryan, Forbes, 7 June 2021 While all three channels create a dynamic synergy, selling wholesale to bigger retailers like Whole Foods brings in the largest revenue stream. Simon Mainwaring, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Nearly all of its business comes from selling wholesale to stores in Washington and more than a dozen states, plus sales from area pop-up markets. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The two approached companies including Diptyque and Santa Maria Novella, which declined to wholesale their products. New York Times, 9 Mar. 2022 He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and served in the infantry at Fort Leavenworth (Kansas) before returning to Greensburg with an honorable discharge in 1955, joining the family retail and wholesaling businesses. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, 6 May 2020 But on Wednesday, the ship nevertheless began disgorging passengers wholesale. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2020 Fiat Chrysler and its peers are expected to lose tens of billions of dollars by idling their plants for weeks because they book revenue by wholesaling vehicles to their dealers. Gabrielle Coppola, Bloomberg.com, 28 Apr. 2020 Illinois also could soon join the list, as Chicago wholesale gasoline sold at a record-low 20 cents Monday morning, Bloomberg data show. Fortune, 24 Mar. 2020 Cactus Corn plans to launch an e-commerce site this week, as well as wholesaling their products to local stores, Levandowski said. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, 31 Mar. 2020 The company is also transitioning some locations to wholesale food operations to help the public find groceries. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, 16 Mar. 2020 Liquor wholesales are prohibited by state law from selling to retailers on the list. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, 14 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of wholesale


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1696, in the meaning defined above


1792, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of wholesale was in the 15th century

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wholesale life insurance

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Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wholesale.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wholesale. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wholesale


whole·​sale | \ ˈhōl-ˌsāl How to pronounce wholesale (audio) \

Kids Definition of wholesale

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the sale of goods in large quantities to dealers



Kids Definition of wholesale (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or working at selling to dealers
2 : done or happening on a large scale wholesale panic


wholesaled; wholesaling

Kids Definition of wholesale (Entry 3 of 3)

: to sell to dealers usually in large quantities

Other Words from wholesale

wholesaler noun


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