Origin of wholesale

1375–1425; late Middle English, from the phrase by hole sale in gross; see whole, sale
Related formswhole·sal·er, noun

Synonyms for wholesale

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

Examples from the Web for wholesaler

Contemporary Examples of wholesaler

Historical Examples of wholesaler

  • The same can be said of the margins between the wholesaler and the consumer.

    Herbert Hoover

    Vernon Kellogg

  • The wholesaler must know the character of the retailer to whom he extends credit.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon

  • The wholesaler has to be a bureau of information concerning this part of his business.

  • He didn't always wait for the wholesaler to start the boostin', either.

  • Traveling salesman for a St. Paul wholesaler, for a Chicago clothing-house.

    The Job

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for wholesaler



the business of selling goods to retailers in larger quantities than they are sold to final consumers but in smaller quantities than they are purchased from manufacturersCompare retail (def. 1)
at wholesale
  1. in large quantities
  2. at wholesale prices


of, relating to, or engaged in such business
made, done, etc, on a large scale or without discrimination


on a large scale or without discrimination


to sell (goods) at wholesale
Derived Formswholesaler, noun
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 wholesaler


early 15c., "in large quantities," from whole + sale; the general sense of "extensive" is attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

wholesaler in Culture


The sale of merchandise to retailers rather than directly to the public.

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.