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From the Old French verb retaillier.


retail (uncountable)

  1. The sale of goods directly to the consumer; encompassing the storefronts, mail-order, websites, etc., and the corporate mechanisms, branding, advertising, etc. that support them, which are involved in the business of selling and point-of-sale marketing retail goods to the public.
    She works in retail.
  2. (colloquial) Retail price; full price; an abbreviated expression, meaning the full suggested price of a particular good or service, before any sale, discount, or other deal.
    I never pay retail for clothes.

Derived termsEdit



retail (not comparable)

  1. Of, or relating to the (actual or figurative) sale of goods or services directly to individuals.
    • 1997, “December 28”, Deseret News:
      "This is a very retail approach for us," Czerw said. "But when you buy one out of every six home loans in the US, you are going to have a constant flow ..."
    • 1999 December 12, NAEDINE JOY HAZELL, “TRAVEL INSIDER; Airport Malls Redefine 'Shopping on the Fly'”, Los Angeles Times:
      The future for Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn., also looks very retail. Plans call for $156 million to expand the main terminal,
    • 2010 September 17, “Sarah Palin's visit to Iowa keeps fans guessing”, Des Moines Register:
      But even with her level of celebrity, it would be very hard to win a race without engaging voters in a very retail way.




  1. Direct to consumers, in retail quantities, or at retail prices.
    We've shut shown our reseller unit. We're only selling retail now.



retail (third-person singular simple present retails, present participle retailing, simple past and past participle retailed)

  1. To sell at retail, or in small quantities directly to customers.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 223d.
      a half part of this purveying is carried on within the city and is called retailing.
  2. To repeat or circulate (news or rumours) to others.



Last modified on 15 April 2014, at 13:51