Definition of retail in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈriːteɪl/


[mass noun]
The sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale: [as modifier]: the retail trade
More example sentences
  • Moreover, the drop in gasoline prices made June retail sales look softer than they really were.
  • To survive I had to branch out into retail advertising, public relations, and nonprofit agencies.
  • Various laws, often imposed by the states, restrained price competition in retail trade.


Pronunciation: /rɪˈteɪl/
[with object]
1Sell (goods) to the public by retail: the difficulties in retailing the new products
More example sentences
  • In addition to selling direct to his neighbors, Grant retails the products of his farm at a number of local farmers' markets and food co-ops.
  • It's not just ‘Dave selling bandwidth,’ but Dave retailing the services of a top-notch provider.
  • Further, there is little hard evidence available on the output of provision grounds and gardens, and much of this produce was in any case retailed by the slaves in public markets and not necessarily consumed or exchanged for food items.
1.1 [no object] (retail at/for) (Of goods) be sold by retail for (a specified price): the product retails for around £20
More example sentences
  • If 48 tracks seems excessive, this retails at standard single-CD price and reveals unexpected depth to an often overlooked artist.
  • The ball promised to be one of the big events for that night, with tickets that were retailing at the price of two weeks' salary, all proceeds going to charity, of course, and a guest list that read like a ‘who's who’ of New York City.
  • According to Tesco, the company has initiated a series of major price cuts in Irish supermarkets in the past two years, with its own-label milk, bread, butter and sugar now retailing at prices lower than those of September 2000.
2Relate the details of (a story or incident) to others: his inimitable way of retailing a diverting anecdote
More example sentences
  • His work, completed about 1469, retailed the story as a tragedy.
  • I proceeded to retail my meeting with Derek from beginning to end; Jenny listened eagerly, chewing on the nail of her index finger.
  • He therefore lays little stress on geographical wonders, and in searching for detailed information retails long passages of by then out-of-date description, which can make the interpretation of his evidence very hazardous.


Late Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French use of Old French retaille 'a piece cut off', from retaillier, from re- (expressing intensive force) + tailler 'to cut'.

  • Retail is from an Anglo-Norman French use of Old French retaille ‘a piece cut off’, from tailler ‘to cut’, from selling in small quantities, as opposed to the large quantities of wholesale (Late Middle English). See also engross

Words that rhyme with retail


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦tail

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