See also: Merchant


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Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English marchant, from Old French marchant, from Latin mercans (a buyer), present participle of mercor (trade, traffic, buy), from merx (merchandise, traffic), itself probably ultimately deriving from Etruscan; see also mercy.



merchant (plural merchants)

  1. A person who traffics in commodities for profit.
    Synonym: trader
  2. The owner or operator of a retail business.
  3. A trading vessel; a merchantman.
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, II. i. 5:
      Every day, some sailor's wife, / The masters of some merchant, and the merchant, / Have just our theme of woe.
  4. (obsolete) A supercargo.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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merchant (third-person singular simple present merchants, present participle merchanting, simple past and past participle merchanted)

  1. As a resident of a region, to buy goods from a non-resident and sell them to another non-resident.
    a merchanting service

Further readingEdit