[ mur-chuhnt ]
See synonyms for: merchantmerchants on

  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.

  1. Chiefly British. a wholesaler.

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

  2. pertaining to the merchant marine.

  1. Steelmaking. (of bars and ingots) of standard shape or size.

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

Other words from merchant

  • mer·chant·like, adjective
  • outmerchant, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use merchant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for merchant (1 of 2)


/ (ˈmɜːtʃənt) /

  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

  1. (esp in historical contexts) any trader

  2. derogatory a person dealing or involved in something undesirable: a gossip merchant

  3. (modifier)

    • of the merchant navy: a merchant sailor

    • of or concerned with trade: a merchant ship

  1. (tr) to conduct trade in; deal in

Origin of merchant

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

Derived forms of merchant

  • merchant-like, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Merchant (2 of 2)


/ (ˈmɜːtʃənt) /

  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)

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