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traffic definition

Overview

This page has 11 definitions of traffic in English. Traffic is a noun, verb and adjective. Examples of how to use traffic in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

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.[1]

Pronunciation

Noun

traffic (usually uncountable, plural traffics)

  1. Moving pedestrians or vehicles, or the flux or passage thereof.
    The traffic is slow during rush hour.
  2. Commercial transportation or exchange of goods, or the movement of passengers or people.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe:
      I had three large axes, and abundance of hatchets (for we carried the hatchets for traffic with the Indians).
    • 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.
  3. Illegal trade or exchange of goods, often drugs.
  4. 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.
    1. In CB radio, formal written messages relayed on behalf of others.
    2. (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.
  5. Commodities of the market.

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

traffic (third-person singular simple present traffics, present participle trafficking, simple past and past participle trafficked)

  1. (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
  2. (intransitive) To trade meanly or mercenarily; to bargain.
  3. (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.

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

traffic (comparative more traffic, superlative most traffic)

  1. (Philippines) congested

References

  1. ^ traffic, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.