• synonyms


[mur-chuh n-dahy-zing]
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  1. the planning and promotion of sales by presenting a product to the right market at the proper time, by carrying out organized, skillful advertising, using attractive displays, etc.
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Origin of merchandising

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at merchandise, -ing1
Also called merchandise planning.


[noun mur-chuh n-dahyz, -dahys; verb mur-chuh n-dahyz]
  1. the manufactured goods bought and sold in any business.
  2. the stock of goods in a store.
  3. goods, especially manufactured goods; commodities.
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verb (used without object), mer·chan·dised, mer·chan·dis·ing.
  1. to carry on trade.
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verb (used with object), mer·chan·dised, mer·chan·dis·ing.
  1. to buy and sell; deal in; trade.
  2. to plan for and promote the sales of.
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Origin of merchandise

1250–1300; Middle English marchandise < Old French. See merchant, -ice
Related formsmer·chan·dis·a·ble, adjectivemer·chan·dis·er, nounun·mer·chan·dised, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for merchandising


  1. the selection and display of goods in a retail outlet
  2. commercial goods, esp ones issued to exploit the popularity of a pop group, sporting event, etc
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noun (ˈmɜːtʃənˌdaɪs, -ˌdaɪz)
  1. commercial goods; commodities
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verb (ˈmɜːtʃənˌdaɪz)
  1. to engage in the commercial purchase and sale of (goods or services); trade
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Derived Formsmerchandiser, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French. See 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

Word Origin and History for merchandising



mid-13c., "trading, commerce;" mid-14c., "commodities of commerce, wares, articles for sale or trade," from Anglo-French marchaundise, Old French marcheandise "goods, merchandise; trade, business" (12c.), from marchaunt "merchant" (see merchant).

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also merchandize, "to buy and sell; to market," late 14c.; see merchant + -ize. Meaning "promote the sale of goods" is from 1926. Related: Merchandising; merchandizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper