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

  • n. The sale of goods in large quantities, as for resale by a retailer.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or engaged in the sale of goods in large quantities for resale: a wholesale produce market; wholesale goods; wholesale prices.
  • adj. Made or accomplished extensively and indiscriminately; blanket: wholesale destruction.
  • adv. In large bulk or quantity.
  • adv. Extensively; indiscriminately.
  • transitive v. To sell in large quantities for resale.
  • intransitive v. To engage in wholesale selling.
  • intransitive v. To be sold wholesale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sale of products, often in large quantities, to retailers or other merchants.
  • adj. Of or relating to sale in large quantities, for resale.
  • adj. Extensive, indiscriminate, all-encompassing; blanket.
  • adv. In bulk or large quantity.
  • adv. Indiscriminately.
  • v. To sell at wholesale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or engaged in, trade by the piece or large quantity; selling to retailers or jobbers rather than to consumers.
  • adj. Extensive and indiscriminate.
  • n. Sale of goods by the piece or large quantity, as distinguished from retail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Sale of goods by the piece or in large quantity, as distinguished from retail.
  • n. in the mass; in the gross; in great quantities; hence, without due discrimination or distinction.
  • Buying and selling by the piece or in large quantity: as, a wholesale dealer.
  • Pertaining to the trade by the piece or quantity: as, the wholesale price.
  • Figuratively, in great quantities; extensive and indiscriminate: as, wholesale slaughter.
  • To sell by wholesale or in large quantities.

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

  • adv. on a large scale without careful discrimination
  • adj. ignoring distinctions
  • n. the selling of goods to merchants; usually in large quantities for resale to consumers
  • v. sell in large quantities
  • adv. at a wholesale price


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • None of that justifies discarding the term wholesale.

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  • Cheap Electronics Wholesale Direct from China, china wholesale is a Hong Kong based company, discount electronicsour business office locate in Shenzhen of China, the global manufacturer and sourcing center of electronic products.

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  • JEGLEY: Well, he was exercising the clemency power at what I call a wholesale right.

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  • ROESGEN: Yes, they are going to do those things, too, but I think the main thing that everyone is looking at right now is this wholesale -- what they call a wholesale layoff, a turnaround.

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  • Because clearly anyone who works in these markets ... will tell you that lending between banks and other financial groups in the short term wholesale markets is anything but normal, she said.

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  • Mr. Galbraith has said that he believes that he was forced out because he was feuding with his boss, the Norwegian Kai Eide, the top United Nations official in Kabul, over how to respond to what he termed wholesale fraud in the Afghan presidential election.

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  • Stalter first re-opened Pinnacle as a rental facility in 2002, but in 2004, he decided to change the operation from what he called wholesale to retail.


  • Arnold, there appear to be a number of problems with the list of "small business innovations" that Baumol has apparently taken wholesale from the Small Business Administration.

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  • [The original deregulation effort] was much more about freeing up restrictions on trade in wholesale electricity markets, although it did a pathetic job of that, requiring buyers and sellers to use the government-created faux market that was the Power Exchange, mandating that they engage only in day-ahead and day-of trades, and maintaining the retail rate caps that stifled the transmission of accurate price signals from the retail market into the wholesale market.

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