- the exchange of one thing for another of more or less equal value, especially to effect a compromise.
- the act or process of buying, selling, or exchanging commodities, at either wholesale or retail, within a country or between countries: domestic trade; foreign trade.
- the act of buying, selling, or exchanging stocks, bonds, or currency: Stock brokerages typically charge a commission per trade.
- a purchase or sale; business deal or transaction.
- an exchange of items, usually without payment of money.
- Sports. the transfer of a player or players among professional teams: a midseason trade.
- any occupation pursued as a business or livelihood.
- some line of skilled manual or mechanical work; craft: the trade of a carpenter; printer’s trade.
- people engaged in a particular line of business: a lecture of interest only to the trade.
- market: an increase in the tourist trade.
- a field of business activity: a magazine for the furniture trade.
- the customers of a business establishment.
- Informal. trade paper.
- trades. trade wind(def 1).
verb (used with object), trad·ed, trad·ing.
- to buy and sell; barter; traffic in.
- to exchange: to trade seats.
- Sports. to transfer (a player under contract) from one team to another: The manager traded two defensive players at the end of the season.
verb (used without object), trad·ed, trad·ing.
- to carry on trade.
- to be bought, sold, or exchanged: Stocks traded lower after the release of the jobs report.
- to traffic (usually followed by in): a tyrant who trades in human lives.
- to make an exchange.
- to make one’s purchases; shop; buy.
- of or relating to trade or commerce.
- used by, serving, or intended for a particular trade: trade journal.
- Also trades. of, composed of, or serving the members of a trade: a trade club.
- trade down, to exchange a more valuable or desirable item for a less valuable or desirable one.
- trade in, to give (a used article) as payment to be credited toward a purchase: We trade in our car every three years.
- trade off, to exchange something for or with another.
- trade on/upon, to turn to one’s advantage, especially selfishly or unfairly; exploit: to trade on the weaknesses of others.
- trade up, to exchange a less valuable or desirable item for a more valuable or desirable one.
- the act or an instance of buying and selling goods and services either on the domestic (wholesale and retail) markets or on the international (import, export, and entrepôt) marketsRelated adjective: mercantile
- a personal occupation, esp a craft requiring skill
- the people and practices of an industry, craft, or business
- exchange of one thing for something else
- the regular clientele of a firm or industry
- amount of custom or commercial dealings; business
- a specified market or businessthe tailoring trade
- an occupation in commerce, as opposed to a profession
- commercial customers, as opposed to the general publictrade only; trade advertising
- homosexual slang a sexual partner or sexual partners collectively
- archaic a custom or habit
- (tr) to buy and sell (commercial merchandise)
- to exchange (one thing) for another
- (intr) to engage in trade
- (intr) to deal or do business (with)we trade with them regularly
- intended for or available only to people in industry or businesstrade prices
- an exchange, esp as a compromise
late 14c., “path, track, course of action,” introduced by the Hanse merchants, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German trade “track, course” (probably originally of a trading ship), cognate with Old English tredan (see tread). Sense of “one’s habitual business” (1540s) developed from the notion of “way, course, manner of life” (mid-15c.); sense of “buying and selling” is first recorded 1550s. Trade wind (1640s) has nothing to do with commerce, but preserves the obsolete sense of “in a habitual or regular course.” Trade union is attested from 1831.
1540s, “to tread a path,” from trade (n.). Meaning “to occupy oneself (in something)” is recorded from c.1600. The U.S. sports team sense of “to exchange one player for another” is attested from 1899. Related: Traded; trading. To trade down is attested from 1942. Trade-in in reference to used cars is recorded from 1917. Trading post is recorded from 1796.
Business or commerce; economic activity.
Exchange one thing for another, especially as a compromise. For example, They were willing to trade off some vacation for the freedom to work flexible hours. This idiom gave rise to tradeoff for “an exchange.” [First half of 1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with trade
- trade down
- trade in
- trade off
- trade on
- trade up
- tricks of the trade