[ mur-kuh n-teel, -tahyl, -til ]
/ ˈmɜr kənˌtil, -ˌtaɪl, -tɪl /


of or relating to merchants or trade; commercial.
engaged in trade or commerce: a mercantile nation.
Economics. of or relating to the mercantile system.

Origin of mercantile

1635–45; < French < Italian: pertaining to merchants, equivalent to mercant(e) merchant (< Latin mercant-, stem of mercāns buyer, noun use of present participle of mercārī to buy) + -ile -ile

Related forms

non·mer·can·tile, adjectivequa·si-mer·can·tile, adjectiveun·mer·can·tile, adjective

Synonym study

1. See commercial. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mercantile

British Dictionary definitions for mercantile


/ (ˈmɜːkənˌtaɪl) /


of, relating to, or characteristic of trade or traders; commercial
of or relating to mercantilism

Word Origin for mercantile

C17: from French, from Italian, from mercante merchant
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