- the movement of vehicles, ships, persons, etc., in an area, along a street, through an air lane, over a water route, etc.: the heavy traffic on Main Street.
- the vehicles, persons, etc., moving in an area, along a street, etc.
- the transportation of goods for the purpose of trade, by sea, land, or air: ships of traffic.
- trade; buying and selling; commercial dealings.
- trade between different countries or places; commerce.
- the business done by a railroad or other carrier in the transportation of freight or passengers.
- the aggregate of freight, passengers, telephone or telegraph messages, etc., handled, especially in a given period.
- communication, dealings, or contact between persons or groups: traffic between the Democrats and the Republicans.
- mutual exchange or communication: traffic in ideas.
- trade in some specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature: the vast traffic in narcotics.
- illegal commercial trade in human beings for the purpose of exploiting them: the traffic in young children.
- to carry on traffic, trade, or commercial dealings.
- to trade or deal in a specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature (usually followed by in): to traffic in opium.
- (of vehicles or persons) to move over or through (a place): It's a heavily trafficked bridge.
- to trade or deal in (a commodity or service): to traffic guns.
- to trade in (human beings) for the purpose of exploitation: He was convicted for trafficking illegal immigrants.
Origin of traffic
Examples from the Web for traffic
One witness said the gunfire began after a traffic collision, which drew the attention of a nearby police officer.France Mourns—and Hunts
Nico Hines, Christopher Dickey
January 8, 2015
The scene was heavily cordoned off to traffic and anyone not with the police, press, or residents.Police Hunt for Paris Massacre Suspects
Tracy McNicoll, Christopher Dickey
January 7, 2015
That officer believed my fair-skinned son was white, according to the traffic citation I examined.
Yes, some people have been inconvenienced by traffic delays or annoyed by supportive athletes.
More recently, Boko Haram shocked the world by kidnapping 276 female students and threatened to traffic them.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
Traffic was intense, and had reached what might be supposed its acme.
The whole current of the company's traffic to and fro passed under my eye.In the Valley
By this traffic Germany had survived for a century and a half.City of Endless Night
It is a mistake of sentiment to believe they have any real dislike to this traffic.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
The law of God is unchangeable: as on earth, so in our traffic with heaven, we only get as we give.The Ministry of Intercession
- the vehicles coming and going in a street, town, etc
- (as modifier)traffic lights
- the movement of vehicles, people, etc, in a particular place or for a particular purposesea traffic
- the business of commercial transportation by land, sea, or air
- the freight, passengers, etc, transported
- (usually foll by with) dealings or businesshave no traffic with that man
- trade, esp of an illicit or improper kinddrug traffic
- the aggregate volume of messages transmitted through a communications system in a given period
- mainly US the number of customers patronizing a commercial establishment in a given time period
- (often foll by in) to carry on trade or business, esp of an illicit kind
- (usually foll by with) to have dealings
Word Origin and History for traffic
c.1500, "trade, commerce," from Middle French trafique (mid-15c.), from Italian traffico (early 14c.), from trafficare "carry on trade," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Vulgar Latin *transfricare "to rub across" (from Latin trans- "across" + fricare "to rub"), with the original sense of the Italian verb being "touch repeatedly, handle."
Or the second element may be an unexplained alteration of Latin facere "to make, do." Klein suggests ultimate derivation of the Italian word from Arabic tafriq "distribution." Meaning "people and vehicles coming and going" first recorded 1825. Traffic jam is 1917, ousting earlier traffic block (1895).
1540s, from traffic (n.) and preserving the original commercial sense. Related: Trafficked; trafficking. The -k- is inserted to preserve the "k" sound of -c- before a suffix beginning in -i-, -y-, or -e- (cf. picnic/picnicking, panic/panicky, shellac/shellacked).