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English definition of “over-the-counter”

over-the-counter

adjective     /ˌəʊvəðəˈkaʊntər/ ( abbreviation OTC)
FINANCE, STOCK MARKET used to describe shares that are bought and sold directly using a computer system, rather than on a stock market: over-the-counter shares/securities/options Brokers can use the system to look up prices or enter quotes for over-the-counter securities. Over-the-counter trading of Malaysian issues continued to be active.
COMMERCE available to buy from a store without a prescription (= written instruction from a doctor): over-the-counter drug/medicine/product Strong sales of prescription and over-the-counter drugs helped boost the company's profits.
(Definition of over-the-counter adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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