[ ree-tey-ling ]
/ ˈri teɪ lɪŋ /


the business of selling goods directly to consumers (distinguished from wholesaling).

Nearby words

  1. retail,
  2. retail politics,
  3. retail price index,
  4. retail therapy,
  5. retailer,
  6. retain,
  7. retained earnings,
  8. retained income,
  9. retained menstruation,
  10. retained object

Origin of retailing

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at retail, -ing1

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for retailing

British Dictionary definitions for retailing
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 retailing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for retailing


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.