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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who traffics on a large scale, especially with foreign countries; a trafficker; a trader.
  • n. A trading vessel; a merchantman.
  • n. One who keeps a store or shop for the sale of goods; a shopkeeper.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or employed in, trade or merchandise.
  • intransitive v. To be a merchant; to trade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. A supercargo; the person in charge of the business affairs of a trading expedition.
  • n. A merchant ship or vessel; a merchantman.
  • n. A shop-keeper or store-keeper.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a businessperson engaged in retail trade


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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)



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