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peddler

[ped-ler]
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noun
  1. a person who sells from door to door or in the street.
  2. a person who tries to promote some cause, candidate, viewpoint, etc.
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Also especially British, ped·lar, ped·ler.

Origin of peddler

1350–1400; Middle English pedlere, unexplained variant of peder, derivative of ped(de) basket
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

vendorsalespersonhuckster

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British Dictionary definitions for peddler

peddler

noun
  1. a person who sells illegal drugs, esp narcotics
  2. the usual US spelling of pedlar
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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 peddler

n.

late 14c. (c.1300 as a surname, Will. Le Pedelare), from peoddere, peddere (c.1200, mid-12c. as a surname), of unknown origin. It has the appearance of an agent noun, but no corresponding verb is attested in Middle English. Perhaps a diminutive of ped "panier, basket," also of unknown origin, but this is attested only from late 14c. Pedlar, preferred spelling in U.K., is attested from late 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper