Definitions

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

  • noun One whose occupation is the wholesale purchase and retail sale of goods for profit.
  • noun One who runs a retail business; a shopkeeper.
  • adjective Of or relating to merchants, merchandise, or commercial trade.
  • adjective Of or relating to the merchant marine.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who is engaged in the business of buying commercial commodities and selling them again for the sake of profit; especially, one who buys and sells in quantity or by wholesale.
  • noun A supercargo; the person in charge of the business affairs of a trading expedition.
  • noun A merchant ship or vessel; a merchantman.
  • noun A shop-keeper or store-keeper.
  • noun 5. A fellow; a chap.
  • Relating to trade or commerce; commercial: as, the law merchant. See law.
  • Pertaining to merchants; belonging to the mercantile class; engaged or used in trade or commerce.
  • To trade; buy or sell; deal; barter; traffic; negotiate.

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

  • intransitive verb obsolete To be a merchant; to trade.
  • noun One who traffics on a large scale, especially with foreign countries; a trafficker; a trader.
  • noun obsolete A trading vessel; a merchantman.
  • noun U. S. & Scot. One who keeps a store or shop for the sale of goods; a shopkeeper.
  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or employed in, trade or merchandise.
  • adjective the mercantile marine of a country.
  • adjective a ship employed in commerce.
  • adjective a tailor who keeps and sells materials for the garments which he makes.

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

  • noun A person who traffics in commodities for profit.
  • noun The owner or operator of a retail business.

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

  • noun a businessperson engaged in retail trade

Etymologies

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

[Middle English merchaunt, from Old French marcheant, from Vulgar Latin *mercātāns, present participle of *mercātāre, frequentative of Latin mercārī, to trade, from merx, merc-, merchandise.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English marchant, from Anglo-Norman marchant, from Latin mercans ("a buyer"), present participle of mercor ("trade, traffic, buy"), from merx ("merchandise, traffic"), from merere ("to gain, buy, purchase, also deserve, merit"); see mercy and merit.

Examples

  • Mr. Robinson's arrival was several years after Gap's 1990s heyday, under former CEO Millard "Mickey" Drexler, who now runs J.Crew Group Inc. Mr. Drexler, whose eye for style earned him the nickname "merchant prince," had carried Gap through a period of explosive growth alongside the advent of "business casual" attire.

    Revolving Door Spins at Gap

  • The French accordingly, judging from what they see at home, have a very contemptible idea of the term merchant; and if a foreign traveller of this class should wish to be admitted into good company, let him pass by any other name than that of a marchand or negociant.

    Travels through the South of France and the Interior of Provinces of Provence and Languedoc in the Years 1807 and 1808

  • On another matter, great news from India - the government is considering privatized airports, but using the term merchant airports.

    IAGblog

  • On another matter, great news from India - the government is considering privatized airports, but using the term merchant airports.

    IAGblog

  • On another matter, great news from India - the government is considering privatized airports, but using the term merchant airports.

    IAGblog

  • On another matter, great news from India - the government is considering privatized airports, but using the term merchant airports.

    IAGblog

  • On another matter, great news from India - the government is considering privatized airports, but using the term merchant airports.

    IAGblog

  • To the Chinese the merchant is the most important member of the community, he is the most honoured, and consequently, I am told, the Chinese merchant, being honoured is honourable.

    The Drama as a Factor in Social Progress

  • Mr. ROSS MIRKARIMI (Supervisor, District 5, San Francisco): They're using Haight Street for right or wrong reasons as the poster child, but it's a citywide law, both in merchant quarters and residential communities, neighborhoods.

    S.F. Ballot Measure Targets City's Homeless

  • Mr. ROSS MIRKARIMI (Supervisor, District 5, San Francisco): They're using Haight Street for right or wrong reasons as the poster child, but it's a citywide law, both in merchant quarters and residential communities, neighborhoods.

    S.F. Ballot Measure Targets City's Homeless

Comments

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  • "... the reliefs offer at the very least a clue as to why ... spices were so valued as to warrant a trade over such vast distances.* For a culture accustomed to thinking of trade in terms of profit, and of spices as mere seasonings, it is a reminder of how easily our assumptions glide into a past where they don't belong. The first identifiable impulse for maritime contact between Egypt and the world beyond, by any measure one of the defining moments in global history, appears to have come not from gourmets but from the gods."

    *Some scholars have long argued that not only this trade but all trade first existed in order to serve sacred purposes. When the word for 'merchant' first appeared in Mesopotamian texts of the second millennium B.C., it carried sacred associations, designating 'the official of a temple privileged to trade abroad.'"

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 239, 239n, 240

    December 6, 2016