[ mur-chuh nt ]
/ ˈmɜr tʃənt /


a person who buys and sells commodities for profit; dealer; trader.
a storekeeper; retailer: a local merchant who owns a store on Main Street.
Chiefly British. a wholesaler.


pertaining to or used for trade or commerce: a merchant ship.
pertaining to the merchant marine.
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


mer·chant·like, adjectiveout·mer·chant, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for merchants

British Dictionary definitions for merchants (1 of 2)

/ (ˈmɜːtʃənt) /


a person engaged in the purchase and sale of commodities for profit, esp on international markets; trader
mainly US and Canadian a person engaged in retail trade
(esp in historical contexts) any trader
derogatory a person dealing or involved in something undesirablea gossip merchant
  1. of the merchant navya merchant sailor
  2. of or concerned with tradea merchant ship


(tr) to conduct trade in; deal in

Derived forms of merchant

merchant-like, adjective

Word Origin for merchant

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

British Dictionary definitions for merchants (2 of 2)

/ (ˈmɜːtʃənt) /


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)
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