com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Definition of commodity

1 : an economic good: such as
a : a product of agriculture or mining agricultural commodities like grain and corn
b : an article of commerce especially when delivered for shipment reported the damaged commodities to officials
c : a mass-produced unspecialized product commodity chemicals commodity memory chips
2a : something useful or valued that valuable commodity, patience also : thing, entity
b : convenience, advantage … the many commodities incidental to the life of a public office …— Charles Lamb
3 : a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins and diminishes the importance of factors (such as brand name) other than price
4 : one that is subject to ready exchange or exploitation within a market … stars as individuals and as commodities of the film industry.Film Quarterly
5 obsolete : quantity, lot

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Examples of commodity in a Sentence

agricultural commodities like grain and corn Oil is a commodity in high demand. Patience is a rare commodity.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Baron, though, understands spice only as a commodity. Jonathan Bratten, Wired, 28 Sep. 2021 According to the Wall Street Journal only lumber outperformed carbon as a commodity in that 12-month period. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 23 Sep. 2021 And because syringes and vaccine vials are a valuable commodity on the black market, criminal gangs have an incentive to steal vaccination gear and illegally resell it into the health care system., 18 Sep. 2021 As expected from any operations manager, hospital and insurance administrators began to approach patients undergoing hip and knee replacements as a commodity. Prem Ramkumar, Forbes, 4 Sep. 2021 The ever-increasing importance of dynamic video content to engage strategic partners in all aspects of the hybrid landscape has made in-house studios a valuable commodity. Time, 12 Aug. 2021 Public patience has worn thin, but for some, additional time and expense mean nothing in terms of getting a vaccine that is being treated as a commodity. Sarah Midkiff,, 23 Feb. 2021 To treat food as a commodity rather than a necessity is to accept that there will always be people who can’t afford it and must go hungry. New York Times, 19 Feb. 2021 However, that wasn't enough to protect him from someone who only viewed him as a commodity, and that rude awakening fuels his bloody revenge mission. Christian Holub,, 18 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commodity.' 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 commodity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commodity

Middle English commoditee, from Anglo-French, from Latin commoditat-, commoditas, from commodus

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Time Traveler for commodity

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near commodity



commodity dollar

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Statistics for commodity

Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commodity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for commodity



English Language Learners Definition of commodity

: something that is bought and sold
: something or someone that is useful or valued


com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Kids Definition of commodity

: something produced by agriculture, mining, or manufacture


com·​mod·​i·​ty | \ kə-ˈmä-də-tē How to pronounce commodity (audio) \
plural commodities

Legal Definition of commodity

: a class of economic goods especially : an item of merchandise (as soybeans) whose price is the basis of futures trading

More from Merriam-Webster on commodity

Nglish: Translation of commodity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commodity for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about commodity


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