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

  • noun The business of buying and selling commodities, products, or services; commerce. synonym: business.
  • noun A branch or kind of business.
  • noun The people working in or associated with a business or industry.
  • noun The activity or volume of buying or selling.
  • noun An exchange of one thing for another.
  • noun An occupation, especially one requiring skilled labor; craft.
  • noun The trade winds.
  • intransitive verb To engage in buying and selling for profit.
  • intransitive verb To make an exchange of one thing for another.
  • intransitive verb To be offered for sale or be sold.
  • intransitive verb To shop or buy regularly.
  • intransitive verb To give in exchange for something else.
  • intransitive verb To buy and sell (stocks, for example).
  • intransitive verb To pass back and forth.
  • adjective Of or relating to trade or commerce.
  • adjective Relating to, used by, or serving a particular trade.
  • adjective Of or relating to books that are primarily published to be sold commercially, as in bookstores.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Commodities designed for use in trading.
  • noun An obsolete preterit of tread.
  • To take or keep one's course; pass; move; proceed.
  • To engage in trade; engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods, wares, and merchandise, or anything else; barter; buy and sell; traffic; carry on commerce as a business: with in before the thing bought and sold.
  • To buy and sell or to exchange property in a specific instance: as, A traded with B for a horse or a number of sheep.
  • To engage in affairs generally; have dealings or transactions.
  • To carry merchandise; voyage or ply as a merchant or merchantman.
  • To pass; spend.
  • To frequent for purposes of trade.
  • To sell or exchange in commerce; barter; buy and sell.
  • noun A footstep; track; trace; trail.
  • noun Path; way; course.
  • noun The bearing part of the felly of a wheel; the tread of a wheel.
  • noun Course of action or effort.
  • noun Way of life; customary mode or course of action; habit or manner of life; habit; custom; practice.
  • noun Business pursued; occupation.
  • noun Specifically, the craft or business which a person has learned and which he carries on as a means of livelihood or for profit; occupation; particularly, mechanical or mercantile employment; a handicraft, as distinguished from one of the liberal arts or of the learned professions, and from agriculture.
  • noun The exchange of commodities for other commodities or for money; the business of buying and selling; dealing by way of sale or exchange; commerce; traffic.
  • noun The persons engaged in the same occupation or line of business: as, the book- trade.
  • noun A purchase or sale; a bargain; specifically, in United States politics, a deal.
  • noun The implements, collectively, of any occupation.
  • noun Stuff: often used contemptuously in the sense of ‘rubbish.’
  • noun In Great Britain, a committee of the Privy Council which has, to a large extent, the supervision of British commerce and industry. At its head are the President of the Board of Trade, who is usually a member of the Cabinet, the parliamentary secretary (formerly vice-president), the permanent secretary, and six assistant secretaries at the head of six departments—the commercial, harbor, finance, railway, marine, and fisheries. Attached to the Board of Trade are also the bankruptcy and emigration departments, the Patent Office, etc. A committee for trade and the plantations existed for a short time in the reign of Charles II. The council of trade was again constituted in the reign of William III., but discontinued in 1782. In 1786 the Board of Trade was organized, and its functions were subsequently greatly extended.
  • noun Synonyms and
  • noun Pursuit, Vocation, etc. See occupation.
  • Pertaining to or characteristic of trade, or of a particular trade: as, a trade practice; a trade ball or dinner; trade organizations.
  • noun A trade-wind: used commonly in the plural.

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

  • intransitive verb To barter, or to buy and sell; to be engaged in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods, wares, merchandise, or anything else; to traffic; to bargain; to carry on commerce as a business.
  • intransitive verb To buy and sell or exchange property in a single instance.


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

[Middle English, course, from Middle Low German.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English trade ("path, course of conduct"), cognate with Old English tredan ("tread"); See Online Etymology Dictionary


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word trade.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.