Definition: Commerce

From New World Encyclopedia


Borrowed from Middle French commerce, from Latin commercium.


commerce (countable and uncountable, plural commerces)

  1. (business) The exchange or buying and selling of commodities; esp. the exchange of merchandise, on a large scale, between different places or communities; extended trade or traffic.
  2. Social intercourse; the dealings of one person or class in society with another; familiarity.
    Fifteen years of thought, observation, and commerce with the world had made him wiser.
  3. (obsolete) Sexual intercourse.
  4. An eighteenth-century French card game in which the cards are subject to exchange, barter, or trade.


Derived terms


commerce (third-person singular simple present commerces, present participle commercing, simple past and past participle commerced)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To carry on trade; to traffic.
  2. (intransitive, archaic) To hold conversation; to communicate.


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