Definition of market in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmɑːkɪt/


1A regular gathering of people for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other commodities: they wanted to browse around the street market
More example sentences
  • There is always a danger, of course, that these events could be taken over by the sort of traders who sell their wares at car-boot sales and regular street markets.
  • It was a busy day in Nether Wallop when more than 300 people gathered in the village square for a street market and party.
  • A taster day is this Friday in Market Square with the main market on Church Street from Saturday to Monday.
1.1An open space or covered building where vendors convene to sell their goods: [in place names]: Billingsgate Market
More example sentences
  • She walks for about fifteen minutes to a huge roofed open air market and sits selling the chicken pieces till the middle of the afternoon.
  • The markets are open year-round, but she only sells flowers and plants during the winter.
  • Farmers are now allowed to sell their surplus crops in open markets.
shopping centre, marketplace, mart, retail outlet, flea market, fair, bazaar, piazza, plaza;
Arabic souk
historical agora
archaic emporium
2An area or arena in which commercial dealings are conducted: the UK market remained in recession the labour market
More example sentences
  • Science has shown that Canadian beef is safe, yet export markets remain closed.
  • But there is no reason to expect a house price boom - particularly if the labour market and wages growth remain subdued.
  • The labour market remains fairly tight and employers always have to be on the look-out for new sources of employees.
2.1A demand for a particular commodity or service: there is a market for high-priced wine
More example sentences
  • And she doesn't believe there's a market for landscapers in the native-plant industry.
  • There's a market for it and it's kind of a sequel to the cassette culture of the '80s and early '90s.
  • An East Lancashire businessman who has run lap-dancing bars in towns and cities said there simply wasn't a market for it in Blackburn.
demand, call, want, desire, need, requirement
2.2The state of trade at a particular time or in a particular context: the bottom’s fallen out of the market
More example sentences
  • Despite the rumours and the negative air in the trade, the pub market held its own during the first six months of this year.
  • With the economy slowing, and a flood of tail-end boom cars being traded in, the market is in a state of flux.
  • When any asset becomes that valuable, the market usually responds by trading the asset.
trade, trading, business, commerce, buying and selling, dealing
2.3The free market: future development cannot be left to the market [as modifier]: a market economy
More example sentences
  • As part of the general transition to a market economy, privatization laws for land have been introduced.
  • The nature of the market economy is that there are fluctuations in flows of income and expenses.
  • It turns out that the market economy operated much more efficiently than most observers had expected.
2.4A stock market: the sale of the company’s shares on world markets
More example sentences
  • When you invest in a foreign market, you compound the normal risk of a stock fund with currency risk.
  • It's very well established that the U.S. stock market often leads foreign markets.
  • Be very careful of backing any companies that need to raise money in the public markets by selling shares.

verb (markets, marketing, marketed)

[with object]
1Advertise or promote (something): the product was marketed under the name ‘aspirin’
More example sentences
  • He cut expenses by outsourcing manufacturing and relying on retail partners to market his products.
  • Today, having successfully expanded and marketed its own brand name, it is not about to get out of the personal computer business.
  • The old homepage failed to give advertisers ample space to market their products and services.
sell, retail, offer for sale, put up for sale, vend, merchandise, trade, peddle, hawk;
advertise, promote
1.1Offer for sale: sheep farmers are still unable to market their lambs
More example sentences
  • Moreover, there were many tomatoes for sale the day she marketed hers.
  • It formed joint ventures to market holiday homes in Spain and Portugal and to broker mortgages.
  • Let us consider the case of Nestle, who for many years marketed a frozen pizza product that was made with French bread.
1.2 [no object] US Go shopping for provisions: then I have to go uptown and market



be in the market for

Wish to buy: she’s in the market for a new laptop
More example sentences
  • The refinery is not up for sale, and certainly we have no understanding that anyone else in the oil business is in the market for another refinery.
  • This is interesting news as I happen to be in the market for just such a property
  • Everybody knows at least one person that they can think of that may be in the market for what you sell (and most will know a lot more).
wishing to buy, in need of, seeking, wanting, lacking, wishing for, desiring

make a market

Finance Take part in active dealing in particular shares or other assets: the illiquidity of gamma stocks means that it is difficult to make a market in them
More example sentences
  • The stock is mainly held by the Burke family and some insiders, but a single broker in Alexandria does make a market in it, and five years ago Testa got his hands on some shares.
  • But once the investment banks dropped coverage of these companies, their trading departments stopped making a market in their stock and liquidity dried up.
  • If a source is a sell-side analyst covering a stock for a broker who makes a market in that stock, and the source says ‘buy,’ you discount it.

on the market

Available for sale: she decided to put her flat on the market
More example sentences
  • Containing aloe vera and moisturiser, the gel will soon be available on the market.
  • Is it relevant that the bank has installed the best security system available on the market?
  • Since the flat wasn't on the market, the vendors and I have agreed to do the sale privately.
on sale, up for sale, for sale, on offer, purchasable, available, obtainable;
North American  on the block


Middle English, via Anglo-Norman French from Latin mercatus, from mercari 'buy' (see also merchant).

  • mercury from Old English:

    Mercury was the Roman god of eloquence, skill, trading, and thieving, and was the messenger of the gods. His name came from Latin merx ‘merchandise’, the source also of market (Old English), merchant (Middle English), and mercenary (Late Middle English). In later Latin mercurius was also the name of a silvery-white metal, liquid at room temperature. The use probably arose from the fluidity of the metal being likened to the rapid motion associated with the god. In English the metallic element was first called mercury in the Middle Ages—its earlier name was quicksilver ( see quick).

Words that rhyme with market

downmarket, upmarket

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mar¦ket

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.