From Middle French trafique, traffique (“traffic”), from Italian traffico (“traffic”) from trafficare (“to carry on trade”). Potentially from Vulgar Latin *trānsfrīcāre (“to rub across”); Klein instead suggests the Italian has ultimate origin in Arabic تَفْرِيق (tafrīq, “distribution, dispersion”), reshaped to match the native prefix tra- (“trans-”).
The adjective sense is possibly influenced by Tagalog trapik and follows a general trend in Philippine English to make nouns adjectives.
traffic (usually uncountable, plural traffics)
- Moving pedestrians or vehicles, or the flux or passage thereof.
The traffic is slow during rush hour.
c. 1591–1595 (date written), [William Shakespeare], “The Prologue”, in […] Romeo and Juliet. […] (First Quarto), London: […] Iohn Danter, published 1597, →OCLC:
VVhoſe miſaduentures, piteous ouerthrovves, / (Through the continuing of their Fathers ſtrife, / And death-markt paſſage of their Parents rage) / Is novv the tvvo hovvres traffique of our Stage.
- Commercial transportation or exchange of goods, or the movement of passengers or people.
2007, John Darwin, After Tamerlane, Penguin, page 12:
Its units of study are regions or oceans, long-distance trades [...], the traffic of cults and beliefs between cultures and continents.
- Illegal trade or exchange of goods, often drugs.
- Synonym: (more common) trafficking
2018 January 9, Alfred W. McCoy, “How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan”, in The Guardian, →ISSN:
They, in turn, had long dominated the drug traffic in the area of north-east Afghanistan that they controlled during the Taliban years.
- Exchange or flux of information, messages or data, as in a computer or telephone network.
1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
The parish stank of idolatry, abominable rites were practiced in secret, and in all the bounds there was no one had a more evil name for the black traffic than one Alison Sempill, who bode at the Skerburnfoot.
2013 July 26, Charles Arthur, “Porn sites get more internet traffic in UK than social networks or shopping”, in The Guardian, →ISSN:
Internet traffic to legal pornography sites in the UK comprised 8.5% of all "clicks" on web pages in June – exceeding those for shopping, news, business or social networks, according to new data obtained exclusively by the Guardian.
- (radio) In CB radio, formal written messages relayed on behalf of others.
- (advertising) The amount of attention paid to a particular printed page etc. in a publication.
- 1950, Advertising & Selling (volume 43, part 2, page 53)
- Those fixed locations which are sold to advertisers become preferred according to the expected page traffic.
- Commodities of the market.
pedestrians or vehicles on roads or on the air
- Albanian: trafik (sq) m
- Amharic: ትራፊክ ? (tərafik)
- Arabic: مُرُور m (murūr)
- Armenian: երթեւեկություն (hy) (ertʿewekutʿyun), երթևեկություն (hy) (ertʿewekutʿyun), երթևեկում (hy) (ertʿewekum)
- Azerbaijani: yol hərəkəti, hərəkət (az)
- Bashkir: хәрәкәт (xäräkät), юл хәрәкәте (yul xäräkäte)
- Basque: trafiko
- Bavarian: Vakea ?
- Belarusian: рух m (rux)
- Bulgarian: движе́ние (bg) n (dvižénie)
- Burmese: အသွားအလာ (my) (a.swa:a.la)
- Catalan: tràfic m, trànsit (ca) m, circulació (ca) f
- Cantonese: 交通 (gaau1 tung1)
- Mandarin: 交通 (zh) (jiāotōng)
- Czech: doprava (cs) f
- Danish: trafik (da) c, færdsel c
- Dutch: verkeer (nl) n
- Esperanto: trafiko
- Estonian: liiklus
- Finnish: liikenne (fi)
- French: circulation (fr) f, trafic (fr) m
- Galician: tráfico (gl) m
- Georgian: მოძრაობა (ka) (moʒraoba)
- German: Verkehr (de) m, Personenverkehr (de) m
- Hebrew: תְּנוּעָה (he) f (t'nu'á)
- Hindi: यातायात (hi) f (yātāyāt), ट्राफ़िक f (ṭrāfik)
- Hungarian: forgalom (hu)
- Icelandic: umferð f
- Ido: trafiko (io)
- Indonesian: lalu lintas (id)
- Irish: trácht m
- Italian: traffico (it) m, viabilità (it) f
- Japanese: 交通 (ja) (こうつう, kōtsū)
- Kazakh: қозғалыс (qozğalys)
- Khmer: ចរាចរ (km) (cɑɑraacɑɑ)
- Korean: 교통(交通) (ko) (gyotong)
- Kyrgyz: кыймыл (ky) (kyymyl)
- Lao: ຈາລະຈອນ (chā la chǭn)
- Latin: transitus (la) m
- Latvian: satiksme f
- Lithuanian: eismas m
- Macedonian: соо́браќај m (soóbraḱaj)
- Malay: lalu lintas, trafik
- Malayalam: ഗതാഗതം (ml) (gatāgataṁ)
- Marathi: रहदारी f (rahdārī)
- Norman: trafi m
- Bokmål: trafikk (no) m, ferdsel m or f
- Nynorsk: trafikk m, ferdsel m
- Persian: ترافیک (fa) (terâfik), عبور و مرور (fa) ('obur o morur), تردد (fa) (taraddod)
- Polish: ruch (pl) m, komunikacja (pl) f, ruch drogowy m
- Portuguese: tráfego (pt) m, trânsito (pt) m
- Romanian: circulație (ro) f, trafic (ro) n, circulație rutieră f
- Russian: движе́ние (ru) n (dvižénije), тра́фик (ru) m (tráfik) (colloquial)
- Scots: traffec, traffeck
- Scottish Gaelic: trafaig f
- Cyrillic: са̏обраћа̄ј m, про́мет m
- Roman: sȁobraćāj m, prómet (sh) m
- Sicilian: tràficu m
- Slovak: doprava (sk) f
- Slovene: promet m
- Spanish: tráfico (es) m, tránsito (es) m (Latin America), circulación (es) f
- Swedish: trafik (sv) c, samfärdsel (sv) c
- Tagalog: trapiko
- Tajik: ҳаракат (tg) (harakat)
- Tamil: திரக்கு (tirakku)
- Tatar: хәрәкәт (tt) (xäräkät), юл хәрәкәте (yul xäräkäte)
- Thai: จราจร (th) (jà-raa-jɔɔn)
- Tigrinya: ትራፊክ ? (tərafik)
- Turkish: trafik (tr), seyrüsefer (tr)
- Ukrainian: рух (uk) m (ruh)
- Urdu: ٹَرافِک f (ṭarāfik), سَودا m (saudā)
- Uyghur: قاتناش (qatnash)
- Uzbek: harakat (uz), yoʻl harakati
- Vietnamese: sự giao thông (vi), giao thông (vi)
- Welsh: traffig
- Yiddish: אומגאַנג m (umgang), פֿאַרקער m (farker)
commercial transportation or exchange of goods
illegal trade or exchange of goods, often drugs
exchange or flux of information, messages or data
Translations to be checked
traffic (third-person singular simple present traffics, present participle trafficking, simple past and past participle trafficked)
- (intransitive) To pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; to buy or sell goods.
- Synonym: trade
- (intransitive) To trade meanly or mercenarily; to bargain.
- (transitive) To exchange in traffic; to effect by a bargain or for a consideration.
1912, The World's Wit and Humor, page 176:
A Libyan longing took us, and we would have chosen, if we could, to bear a strand of grotesque beads, or a handful of brazen gauds, and traffic them for some sable maid with crisp locks, whom, uncoffling from the captive train beside the desert, we should make to do our general housework forever, through the right of lawful purchase.
to pass goods and commodities from one person to another for an equivalent in goods or money; to buy or sell goods — see also trade
to trade meanly or mercenarily; to bargain — see also bargain
to exchange in traffic; to effect by a bargain or for a consideration
traffic (comparative more traffic, superlative most traffic)
- (Philippines) congested