Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to merchants or trade.
  • adj. Of or relating to mercantilism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Concerned with the exchange of goods for profit

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to merchants, or the business of merchants; having to do with trade, or the buying and selling of commodities; commercial.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to merchants, or the traffic carried on by merchants; having to do with trade or commerce; trading; commercial.
  • Characteristic of the business of merchants; in accord with business principles.
  • Synonyms Mercantile, Commercial. Commercial is the broader term, including the other. Mercantile applies only to the actual purchase and sale of goods, according to one's line of business; the mercantile class in a community comprises all such as are actually in the business of buying and selling. Commercial covers the whole theory and practice of commerce, home or foreign : as, the British are a commercial people; commercial usages, honor, law. The word is applicable wherever the more varied activities of commerce are concerned.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or characteristic of trade or traders
  • adj. profit oriented
  • adj. of or relating to the economic system of mercantilism

Etymologies

French, from Italian, from mercante, merchant, from Latin mercāns, mercant-, from present participle of mercārī, to trade, from merx, merc-, merchandise, goods.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Now, FHA insured about 30% of home purchases as good as 20% of refinanced mortgages in mercantile 2009.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • Not many cities, unfortunately, have been means to announce such certain mercantile headlines in the stream business climate.

    editorial: chattem commits to city, growth

  • It is likely, then, that he had no source of income other than family money, although his adult male relatives were all engaged in mercantile operations, the navy, or the professions. back

    Gutenber-e Help Page

  • This is one of my favorite if that's the word mercantile ghosts.

    I Walk Along the Street of Sorrows

  • The butter factory, recently incorporated, is one of the manufacturing enterprises which flourish, and for the past twenty-five years Etna has not been behind her neighboring villages in mercantile enterprise or in the educational advantages furnished by her excellent school.

    Living in Dryden: Etna's history, to 1897

  • You will readily discern that, what with the public market and municipal headquarters, the two leading city churches, and the main mercantile domain that centres up on King Street, this central sector clearly focuses the civic and business life of the new city.

    The Life of a New City: Toronto, 1834

  • The boys will find their life work on the farm, or in mercantile or manufacturing establishments.

    Technical Education

  • "At the same time I have the honor to bring to the knowledge of your excellency that the German authorities will detain French mercantile vessels in German ports, but they will release them if, within forty-eight hours, they are assured of complete reciprocity."

    The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8) Introductions; Special Articles; Causes of War; Diplomatic and State Papers

  • In all the thirteen years of her non-government, we find no further protection of women than for the sake of that which is always made the one plea of protection in mercantile England – property: and we are rather startled than satisfied, when we read, that under Queen Anne, one Haagen Swensden was tried and executed "for stealing and marrying Mistress Pleasant Rawlins," because she was an heiress.

    A Letter to the Queen on Lord Chancellor Cransworth's Marriage and Divorce Bill

  • In a new country, where there is no great competition in mercantile business, and money is scarce, the power and profits of store-keepers are very great.

    Roughing It in the Bush

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