Definition: Trade

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English trade (path, course of conduct), introduced into English by Hanseatic merchants, from Middle Low German trade (track, course), from Old Saxon trada (spoor, track), from Proto-Germanic *tradō (track, way), and cognate with Old English tredan (to tread); ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dreh₂- (to tread, walk, step, run).


trade (countable and uncountable, plural trades)

  1. Buying and selling of goods and services on a market.
  2. A particular instance of buying or selling.
  3. An instance of bartering items in exchange for one another.
  4. Those who perform a particular kind of skilled work.
  5. Those engaged in an industry or group of related industries.
  6. The skilled practice of a practical occupation.
  7. An occupation in the secondary sector, as opposed to an agricultural, professional, or military one.
  8. (chiefly in the plural) Tradewinds. Steady winds blowing from east to west above and below the equator.
  9. (only as plural) A publication intended for participants in an industry or related group of industries.

Derived terms

  • antitrade
  • countertrade
  • cross-trade
  • fair trade
  • free trade
  • trade-off

Related terms

  • jack of all trades
  • trademark


trade (third-person singular simple present trades, present participle trading, simple past and past participle traded)

  1. To engage in trade.
  2. To be traded at a certain price or under certain conditions.
  3. To give (something) in exchange (for).
  4. To mutually exchange (something) (with).
  5. To use or exploit a particular aspect, such as a name, reputation, or image, to gain advantage or benefit.
  6. To do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood.
  7. To have dealings; to be concerned or associated (with).
  8. To recommend and get recommendations.

Derived terms

  • cross-trade
  • insider trading


trade (not comparable)

  1. Of a product, produced for sale in the ordinary bulk retail trade and hence of only the most basic quality.


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