Synonyms & Antonyms of trade

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a giving or taking of one thing of value in return for another
  • when the other team unexpectedly offered to hand over its top pitcher for our star shortstop, our coach agreed to the trade

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2 an occupation requiring skillful use of the hands
  • a youth eager to learn the trade of cabinetmaking

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3 the activity by which one regularly makes a living
  • writing is my trade

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4 the buying and selling of goods especially on a large scale and between different places
  • a bill regulating trade with that country

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5 the transfer of ownership of something from one person to another for a price
  • the trade of all of her holdings in the company just before the stock plunged in value immediately aroused suspicions

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Synonyms & Antonyms of trade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to carry on the business of buying and selling goods or other property
  • the U.S. agreed to trade with China

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2 to give up (something) and take something else in return
  • I'll trade my chocolate chip cookie for your bag of chips

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About trade

How is the word trade distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of trade are business, commerce, industry, and traffic. While all these words mean "activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of commodities," commerce and trade imply the exchange and transportation of commodities.

In what contexts can business take the place of trade?

The words business and trade can be used in similar contexts, but 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.

When could industry be used to replace trade?

The words industry and trade are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, industry applies to the producing of commodities, especially by manufacturing or processing, usually on a large scale.

When can traffic be used instead of trade?

While in some cases nearly identical to trade, traffic applies to the operation and functioning of public carriers of goods and persons.

Learn More About trade

Time Traveler for trade

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near trade



trade book

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Cite this Entry

“Trade.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on trade

Nglish: Translation of trade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trade for Arabic Speakers


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