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trade Line breaks: trade

Definition of trade in English:


1 [mass noun] The action of buying and selling goods and services: a move to ban all trade in ivory a significant increase in foreign trade
More example sentences
  • There must somehow be a basis for international trade in goods and services.
  • The explosion of global trade in the postwar era is usually attributed to the lowering of tariffs and other trade barriers.
  • These include trade in services, intellectual property, e-commerce, investment and labour standards.
1.1 [count noun] North American (In sport) a transfer: players can demand a trade after five years of service
More example sentences
  • But injuries and trades are expected in sports.
  • The big fella no longer is demanding a trade, which wasn't feasible anyway, or to be waived, which was unlikely.
  • It's clear his uncertain status limits what Philadelphia can demand in a trade.
2A job requiring manual skills and special training: the fundamentals of the construction trade [mass noun]: he’s a carpenter by trade
More example sentences
  • Home inspection is a trade that requires special training, knowledge, and skills.
  • An impending skills shortage in the trades means jobs are opening up to women.
  • The centre, not yet named, will provide vocational training in creative industries and manual trades.
3 (the trade) [treated as singular or plural] The people engaged in a particular area of business: in the trade this sort of computer is called ‘a client-based system’
More example sentences
  • Before the season begins those in the trade identify jackfruit trees in the area that give good quality fruit.
  • The aim should be to build an honest relationship with 10 journalists across the trade and national press.
  • He comes into the trade at a buoyant time, with brisk business reported locally in the market.
3.1British People licensed to sell alcoholic drink.
Example sentences
  • But many in the licensed trade are unhappy about the latest attempt to curb binge drinking.
  • This bars entry to the trade with licences being sold for up to €150,000, he said.
  • A vintner found selling corrupt wine was forced to drink it, then banned from the trade.
3.2 [mass noun] dated , chiefly derogatory The practice of making one’s living in business, as opposed to in a profession or from unearned income: the aristocratic classes were contemptuous of those in trade
4 (usually trades) A trade wind: the north-east trades
More example sentences
  • Typically, the trades bring warm moist air towards the Indonesian region.


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1 [no object] Buy and sell goods and services: middlemen trading in luxury goods
More example sentences
  • The ban means all auction marts have ceased trading in livestock.
  • However, as Jon's pointed out, the trading of goods and services is different to trading in events.
  • But trading in new stocks is typically purely speculative.
buy and sell, market, peddle, merchandise, barter
informal hawk, tout, flog, run
do business, deal, run, operate
1.1 [with object] Buy or sell (a particular item or product): she has traded millions of dollars' worth of metals
More example sentences
  • He started his career trading commodities, working till 2am to catch the latest crop reports from Brazil.
  • He said housing should not be treated in the same way as non-essential traded commodities for speculation, or investment.
  • Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil.
1.2(Especially of shares or currency) be bought and sold at a specified price: the dollar was trading where it was in January
More example sentences
  • Buying incubator shares at inflated prices, whose underlying assets where just other dotcom shares trading at inflated prices, was never going to work.
  • The shares are currently trading at over $48 and analysts have a share price target of over $70 on the stock.
  • The shares are currently trading around the 52-week high of 138 pence they hit on April 7.
2 [with object] Exchange (something) for something else, typically as a commercial transaction: they trade mud-shark livers for fish oil
More example sentences
  • Let's begin pondering briefly a primitive barter economy where goods are traded for goods.
  • It is both a needed reminder and a adept demonstration that watching courtship treated as a noble game is still quite rewarding even in times where romance is traded for expediency.
  • Sexual exploitation is also widespread in humanitarian crises, where sex is often traded for food rations, safe passage and for access to basic goods.
2.1Give and receive (something, typically insults or blows): they traded a few punches
More example sentences
  • They traded blows, insults, and annoyed mutters for several long minutes.
  • Strong language has been used, insults have been traded, attacks have been personalised and bitterness is made visible.
  • In brief instances when they collided, one could see them attacking with outrageously fast kicks and punches, either trading blows are blocking blows.
2.2North American Transfer (a player) to another team: would his behaviour cause them to trade him?
More example sentences
  • Teams are cautious about trading a player who could come back to haunt them.
  • The team wants to trade the franchise player and rid itself of his $10.5 rail lion salary cap burden.
  • He knows that rarely - if ever - can a team trade a franchise player and improve.


Late Middle English (as a noun): from Middle Low German, literally 'track', of West Germanic origin; related to tread. Early senses included 'course, way of life', which gave rise in the 16th century to 'habitual practice of an occupation', 'skilled handicraft'. The current verb senses date from the late 16th century.

  • Trade came from German and is related to tread (Old English). It originally meant ‘a track or way’, and then ‘a way of life’, and ‘a skilled handicraft’—the ‘buying and selling’ sense dates from the 16th century. A trade wind has nothing to do with commerce. The term arose in the mid 17th century from blow trade ‘to blow steadily in the same direction’, or along the same course or track. Sailors thought that many winds blew in this way, but as navigation technology improved they realized that there are only two belts of trade winds proper, blowing steadily towards the equator from the northeast in the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere.


trade places

US Change places: I would be glad to trade places with George and have his job
More example sentences
  • Hilda knew the attack would be coming and in a blinding split second, both had traded places, seemingly without moving.
  • When my husband and I traded places and he assumed the majority of childcare responsibilities while I went to work full time, there were, predictably, adjustments to be made.
  • Later I traded places with my colleague in the dugout.

Phrasal verbs

trade down (or up)

Sell something in order to buy something similar but less (or more) expensive: homeowners who want to trade up
More example sentences
  • This is fine for people who want to sell up and trade down in the market, but is frustrating for home owners who want to move up the housing ladder.
  • First-time buyers were drawn by the two and three-bedroom townhouses while many of the larger three-beds were sold to couples trading up.
  • Fancy selling your home and trading up to a larger, plusher pad in the near future?

trade something in

Exchange a used article in part payment for another: she traded in her Ford for a Land Rover
More example sentences
  • The British know about these and probably have a deal with them to keep these weapons until they can be traded in for cash in exchange for information.
  • It'd better stay that way, too, because if one should turn up in my stocking I shall trade it in for a waistcoat when we get to London, see if I don't.
  • Some sites run currency exchanges where players can take their platinum pieces and trade them in for real dollars or the game currency of another virtual world.

trade something off

Exchange something of value, especially as part of a compromise: the government traded off economic advantages for political gains
More example sentences
  • They come and they take the pins that I get because I'm smart enough to get more than one of each country so I can trade them off.
  • Traumatised employees and relatively small financial losses are traded off against the greater expense of added security and extended care for staff.
  • But there is no way of ranking these many goods or trading them off against one another, so there is not always, all things considered, a best thing to do.

trade on

Take advantage of (something), especially in an unfair way: the government is trading on fears of inflation
More example sentences
  • It was a small company trading on the small capitalisation market of the NASDAQ Index.
  • But trading on his strong economic background, he doesn't have to work as hard to win over his audience.
  • They do this by trading on a phenomenon once neatly summarised by the great economist JK Galbraith.
exploit, take advantage of, capitalize on, profit from, use, make use of;
milk, abuse, misuse
informal cash in on



Pronunciation: /ˈtreɪdəb(ə)l/
(or tradeable) adjective
Example sentences
  • It is estimated that foreign investors now own 40 percent of the US government's tradeable debt, 26 percent of US corporate bonds and 13 percent of US equities.
  • At the real exchange rate set largely by foreign decision-makers, a huge excess demand for tradeable goods and services - and so the trade deficits - emerges.
  • His current research interests include the use of tradeable permits and other economic incentives for water allocation and water quality, local air pollution, and fisheries.

Words that rhyme with trade

abrade, afraid, aid, aide, ambuscade, arcade, balustrade, barricade, Belgrade, blade, blockade, braid, brigade, brocade, cannonade, carronade, cascade, cavalcade, cockade, colonnade, crusade, dissuade, downgrade, enfilade, esplanade, evade, fade, fusillade, glade, grade, grenade, grillade, handmade, harlequinade, homemade, invade, jade, lade, laid, lemonade, limeade, made, maid, man-made, marinade, masquerade, newlaid, orangeade, paid, palisade, parade, pasquinade, persuade, pervade, raid, serenade, shade, Sinéad, staid, stockade, stock-in-trade, suede, tailor-made, they'd, tirade, Ubaid, underpaid, undismayed, unplayed, unsprayed, unswayed, upbraid, upgrade, wade

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive