Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that sells foodstuffs and various household supplies.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wholesale dealer: same as engrosser
  • noun A trader who deals in general supplies for the table and for household use. See grocery, 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A trader who deals in meats, dairy products, produce, tea, sugar, spices, coffee, fruits, and various other commodities.
  • noun (Med.) a disease of the skin, caused by handling sugar and treacle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who sells groceries (foodstuffs and household items) retail from a grocery

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

  • noun a retail merchant who sells foodstuffs (and some household supplies)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, wholesaler, from Anglo-Norman grosser, from Medieval Latin grossārius, grocerius, from Late Latin grossus, thick.]

Examples

  • "Now, John, Harry, Willie, if you want to be a grocer when you grow up, _be a grocer_ and a big one -- a wholesale grocer if you wish, and be a _good one_ -- the very best in town, if you can, but say -- don't let your grocery business _swallow you up_ till you are _not good for anything else_ but to buy and sell groceries!

    Crayon and Character: Truth Made Clear Through Eye and Ear Or, Ten-Minute Talks with Colored Chalks

  • A little way out from Pretoria there are some very smart-looking new houses, what they call "villa residences" in England, built in the style, a sort of mild and tepid Gothic (what I call grocer's Gothic, for it always reminds me of brown sugar and arrowroot), common around watering-places; small gables sticking out everywhere, till it looks like a cluster of dog-kennels; walls faced with ornamental tiles and lath and plaster; small shrubberies round, and a name on the gate.

    With Rimington

  • My mum has gone out to see if the grocer is up and running now that the war's ended.

    Devastate (1/?)

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

  • I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot.

    Concerning Criticism

Comments

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  • See usage/historical note on grossarii, which will kick you over to cubebs for more. You also may find notes located on apothecary and spicer and unguent to be interesting. 

    "There was also a change in the word 'grocer,' which had originated in English to mean a spice merchant (or spicer) who handled larger or wholesale quantities (thus dealing in 'gross' amounts), before later becoming extended to someone handling all manner of edible products. The same semantic transformation occurred in French, where 'epicier' went from meaning a spice merchant to the owner of a small food shop ('epicerie')."

    Paul Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 116.

    Later, same book:

    "Postmortem surveys of London grocers' shops from the reign of Richard II (1377-1399) show that besides spices and drugs they might sell soap, honey, alum, lamp oil, seeds, pitch, and tar. These merchants diversified and carried on both a distributive trade (importing spices to be sold to provincial merchants) and an export trade in wool, for many years England's major international commodity." (p. 120)

    January 8, 2017