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merchant

[mur-chuh nt]
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noun
  1. a person who buys and sells commodities for profit; dealer; trader.
  2. a storekeeper; retailer: a local merchant who owns a store on Main Street.
  3. Chiefly British. a wholesaler.
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adjective
  1. pertaining to or used for trade or commerce: a merchant ship.
  2. pertaining to the merchant marine.
  3. Steelmaking. (of bars and ingots) of standard shape or size.
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Origin of merchant

1250–1300; Middle English marchant < Old French marcheant < Vulgar Latin *mercātant- (stem of *mercātāns), present participle of *mercātāre, frequentative of Latin mercārī to trade, derivative of merx goods
Related formsmer·chant·like, adjectiveout·mer·chant, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for merchant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Among the passengers was a stout, good-looking man, a New York merchant.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He has the soul of a merchant tailor, actually, but not the tailor's manhood.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "You must have been born under a lucky star, Robert," said the merchant.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "This is my address," said the merchant, writing it in pencil, and handing it to Robert.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It traded with all the world and offered a safe home to the merchant and to the artisan.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon


British Dictionary definitions for merchant

merchant

noun
  1. a person engaged in the purchase and sale of commodities for profit, esp on international markets; trader
  2. mainly US and Canadian a person engaged in retail trade
  3. (esp in historical contexts) any trader
  4. derogatory a person dealing or involved in something undesirablea gossip merchant
  5. (modifier)
    1. of the merchant navya merchant sailor
    2. of or concerned with tradea merchant ship
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verb
  1. (tr) to conduct trade in; deal in
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Derived Formsmerchant-like, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French, probably from Vulgar Latin mercātāre (unattested), from Latin mercārī to trade, from merx goods, wares

Merchant

noun
  1. Ismail (ˈɪzmeɪəl). 1936–2005, Indian film producer, noted for his collaboration with James Ivory on such films as Shakespeare Wallah (1965), The Europeans (1979), A Room with a View (1986), The Remains of the Day (1993), and The Golden Bowl (2000)
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for merchant

n.

c.1200, from Anglo-French marchaunt "merchant, shopkeeper" (Old French marcheant, Modern French marchand), from Vulgar Latin *mercatantem (nominative *mercatans) "a buyer," present participle of *mercatare, frequentative of Latin mercari "to trade, traffic, deal in" (see market). Meaning "fellow, chap" is from 1540s; with a specific qualifier, and suggesting someone who deals in it (e.g. speed merchant "one who enjoys fast driving"), from 1914.

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adj.

c.1400, from merchant (n.) and from Old French marcheant (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper