Share this entry

peddler Syllabification: ped·dler
Pronunciation: /ˈpedlər/
(also pedlar)

Definition of peddler in English:


1A person who goes from place to place selling small goods.
Example sentences
  • Tea vendors pass by, and peddlers sell clothes, snacks and herbs from strategic positions on the ground.
  • These were a very persistent variety of peddler that would not take a polite ‘No thank you’ for an answer (even when spoken in Thai).
  • The sights and smells of the island (beginning with the oranges pedlars are selling on the train) creep up on you as the train snakes south towards the Straits of Messina.
traveling salesman/salesperson, door-to-door salesman/salesperson;
archaic chapman
1.1A person who sells illegal drugs or stolen goods: a drug peddler
More example sentences
  • The illegal drugs were then transported to nearby Infanta town ahead of being distributed to illegal drug peddlers in Manila.
  • Law enforcement agencies therefore responded by resorting to the apprehension of rather small-scale drug peddlers.
  • A majority of them are rag pickers, petty hawkers, shoeshine boys, beggars and sometimes, petty pickpockets and drug peddlers.
trafficker, dealer
informal pusher
1.2A person who promotes an idea or view persistently or widely: peddlers of dangerous utopianism
More example sentences
  • Luckily, the peddlers of this dangerous message haven't come up with a catchy jingle.


Middle English: perhaps an alteration of synonymous dialect pedder, apparently from dialect ped 'basket'.


see pedal1 (usage)

Definition of peddler in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser