a person who buys and sells articles without altering their condition; trader or merchant, especially a wholesaler: I got a dealer's discount on this coat.
Cards. the player distributing the cards.
a person who behaves or acts toward another or others in a specified manner: a plain dealer.
Slang. a person who buys and sells drugs illegally.
a person who buys securities for his or her account and retains them until sold to another.

Compare stockbroker.

Origin of dealer

before 1000; Middle English delere, Old English dǣlere. See deal1, -er1
Related formspre·deal·er, nounsub·deal·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dealer

Contemporary Examples of dealer

Historical Examples of dealer

  • They went into the dining-room, and the dealer called for coffee at once.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • The dealer had lost patience and had sent for the picture; the van told the story.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Then a dealer in turtles came by, and they told him their tale.

  • He was a dealer, who, for some few years, had been revolutionising the picture trade.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • It was kept by a dealer in cooked vegetables, and was just being opened.

British Dictionary definitions for dealer



a person or firm engaged in commercial purchase and sale; tradera car dealer
cards the person who distributes the cards
slang a person who sells illegal drugs
Derived Formsdealership, noun
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 dealer

Old English dælere "divider, distributor; agent, negotiator," agent noun from deal (v.). Meaning "player who passes out the cards in a game" is from c.1600; meaning "one who deals in merchandise" is from 1610s. Illegal drug sense is recorded by 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper