retail

[ree-teyl for 1–4, 6; ri-teyl for 5]
See more synonyms for retail on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. pertaining to, connected with, or engaged in sale at retail: the retail price.
adverb
  1. in a retail quantity or at a retail price.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sell at retail; sell directly to the consumer.
  2. to relate or repeat in detail to others: to retail scandal.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be sold at retail: It retails at 50 cents.

Origin of retail

1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English < Anglo-French: a cutting, derivative of retailler to cut, equivalent to re- re- + tailler to cut (see tail2); (v.) Middle English retailen < Old French retailler
Related formsre·tail·er, nounnon·re·tail, adjectivenon·re·tail·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for retail

peddle, barter, dispense, distribute, trade, hawk, market

Examples from the Web for retail

Contemporary Examples of retail

Historical Examples of retail

  • Even the retail trade could not escape the omniscience of this control.

    Freeland

    Theodor Hertzka

  • Our friend concludes that it is cheaper to lend umbrellas by retail.

  • Retail dealers, costermongers, and greengrocers were making their purchases in haste.

  • There is to be no retail trade either in these or any other articles.

    Laws

    Plato

  • This shall be the second law: He who engages in retail trade must be either a metic or a stranger.

    Laws

    Plato


British Dictionary definitions for retail

retail

noun
  1. the sale of goods individually or in small quantities to consumersCompare wholesale (def. 1)
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or engaged in such sellingretail prices
adverb
  1. in small amounts or at a retail price
verb
  1. to sell or be sold in small quantities to consumers
  2. (rɪˈteɪl) (tr) to relate (gossip, scandal, etc) in detail, esp persistently
Derived Formsretailer, noun

Word Origin for retail

C14: from Old French retaillier to cut off, from re- + taillier to cut; see tailor
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 retail
v.

mid-14c. "sell in small quantities or parcels," from Old French retaillier "cut back, cut off, pare, clip, reduce, circumcise," from re- "back" (see re-) + taillier "to cut, trim" (see tailor (n.)). Sometimes also "to deal out (information, etc.) in small quantities; hand down by report; recount, tell over again" (1590s). Related: Retailed; retailing.

n.

early 15c., "sale of commodities in small quantities or parcels or at second hand" (opposed to wholesale), from Old French retail "piece cut off, shred, scrap, paring" (Modern French retaille), from retaillier (see retail (v.)). The notion of the English word is "a selling by the piece." This sense is not in French, however, and comes perhaps from cognate Italian ritaglio, which does have that sense. As an adjective, "of or pertaining to sale at retail," c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

retail in Culture

retail

A term describing businesses that sell goods directly to individuals. (Compare wholesale.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.