—n. 1. the act or process of buying, selling, or exchanging commodities, at either wholesale or retail, within a country or between countries: domestic trade; foreign trade. 2. a purchase or sale; business deal or transaction.
3. an exchange of items, usually without payment of money.
4. any occupation pursued as a business or livelihood.
5. some line of skilled manual or mechanical work; craft: the trade of a carpenter; printer's trade. 6. people engaged in a particular line of business: a lecture of interest only to the trade. 7. market: an increase in the tourist trade. 8. a field of business activity: a magazine for the furniture trade. 9. the customers of a business establishment.
10. Informal.See trade paper. 11. trades.See trade wind (def. 1).
—v.t. 1. to buy and sell; barter; traffic in.
2. to exchange: to trade seats.
—v.i. 1. to carry on trade.
2. to traffic (usually fol. by in): a tyrant who trades in human lives. 3. to make an exchange.
4. to make one's purchases; shop; buy.
5. trade down,to exchange a more valuable or desirable item for a less valuable or desirable one.
6. trade in,to give (a used article) as payment to be credited toward a purchase: We trade in our car every three years. 7. trade off,to exchange something for or with another.
8. trade on or upon,to turn to one's advantage, esp. selfishly or unfairly; exploit: to trade on the weaknesses of others. 9. trade up,to exchange a less valuable or desirable item for a more valuable or desirable one.
—adj. 1. of or pertaining to trade or commerce.
2. used by, serving, or intended for a particular trade: trade journal. 3. Also,trades.of, composed of, or serving the members of a trade: a trade club.