[ seylz-klurk ]
/ ˈseɪlzˌklɜrk /
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a person who sells goods in a store.
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Origin of salesclerk

First recorded in 1930–35; sales + clerk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does salesclerk mean?

A salesclerk is a person whose job is to help customers in a retail shop or to directly sell them products.

The word clerk can be used by itself to mean the same thing. As a job title or name of a position, clerk often implies that the person is an entry-level employee.

A salesclerk is sometimes a salesperson, but the term salesperson is more general and can refer to a person who sells goods or services for a company or who sells their own products, whereas a salesclerk always works in a store.

The term salesclerk is still used, but has been largely replaced with other terms, such as sales rep (or sales representative), sales associate, associate, or team member (the latter two of which perhaps avoid the use of the word sales to make the terms sound friendlier to customers).

Example: The salesclerk said that there weren’t any on the shelf but that she would check in the back.

Where does salesclerk come from?

The first records of the word salesclerk come from the 1930s. The word clerk is often used to refer to someone who keeps records, but in salesclerk it refers to an employee of a store or shop whose job is to help customers to make purchases or to sell them things. It’s used in much the same way in bank clerk, another term for a teller.

The term sales rep can be used as a synonym for both salesclerk and salesperson (as well as gender-specific terms like salesman and saleswoman).  Terms like salesgirl and shopgirl were once used as a way to refer to female salesclerks, but they are now often considered outdated and demeaning due to the use of the word girl when such workers are usually women.

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What are some synonyms for salesclerk?

What are some words that share a root or word element with salesclerk

What are some words that often get used in discussing salesclerk?

How is salesclerk used in real life?

Salesclerk is less commonly used than it once was. Salesclerks now often have titles like associate.



Try using salesclerk!

True or False? 

Salesclerk always means the same exact thing as salesperson.

How to use salesclerk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for salesclerk

/ (ˈseɪlzˌklɜːrk) /

US and Canadian a shop assistantSometimes shortened to: clerk
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