Definition of “trade” - English Dictionary

“trade” in British English

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tradenoun

uk /treɪd/ us /treɪd/

trade noun (BUYING AND SELLING)

B1 [ U ] the activity of buying and selling, or exchanging, goods and/or services between people or countries:

The country's trade in manufactured goods has expanded in the last ten years.
70 percent of the country's trade is with Europe.
The two countries have signed a trade agreement for one year only.

[ U ] business activity:

Since the supermarket opened, many small local shops have lost up to 50 percent of their trade.
In hot weather, shops do a roaring/brisk trade in (= sell a lot of) cold drinks and ice cream.
This level of confidence in the economy is good for trade generally.

More examples

  • The investigation uncovered evidence of a large-scale illegal trade in wild birds.
  • Russia has just drawn up a trade agreement with Norway.
  • The latest trade figures have dealt a severe blow to hopes of an early economic recovery.
  • We are planning to develop our export trade.
  • There's a flourishing trade in second-hand video machines.

trade noun (BUSINESS)

C1 [ C ] a particular business or industry:

the book/car/fur trade
He worked in the same trade all his life.

B2 [ C or U ] a job, especially one that needs special skill, that involves working with your hands:

She went to college to learn a trade.
He's a carpenter by trade.
the trade [ S ]

the people who work in a particular business or industry or in the same one:

People who work in the trade can buy their books at a discount.
The company only supplies its goods to the (building/catering) trade, not direct to the public.

More examples

  • There's a flourishing trade in second-hand video machines.
  • This has been a difficult year for the motor trade.
  • His is a family trade, passed down from generation to generation.
  • For the modern sales executive, a car phone is one of the tools of the trade.
  • Business people wailed that their trade would be ruined.

tradeadjective

uk /treɪd/ us /treɪd/

tradeverb

uk /treɪd/ us /treɪd/

trade verb (BUY AND SELL)

B2 [ I or T, usually + adv/prep ] to buy and sell goods or services, especially between countries:

For centuries, Native Americans traded with European settlers.
The company has been trading in oil for many years.
The two countries have become close trading partners.
Our books are traded throughout Asia.
See also

[ I or T ] to be bought and sold, or to buy and sell shares, on the stock exchange:

The volume of stocks traded today was very high.
Shares in the company traded actively.

More examples

  • It was several months before the company started to trade profitably .
  • Native Americans traded furs with early European settlers.
  • In the meantime, the shares will continue to trade on the open market.
  • Only licensed stall-holders are allowed to trade here.
  • It is a well-respected family business which has traded in the town for over 50 years.

trade verb (EXCHANGE)

[ T ] to exchange something, or to stop using or doing something and start using or doing something else instead:

The children traded comics.
[ + two objects ] I'll trade you some of my chocolate for some of your ice cream.
I wouldn't trade you for the world (= I do not want a different partner).
See also

[ T ] If people trade statements of a particular type, they say or tell them to each other:

We sat around the dinner table, trading stories.
The two politicians didn't really discuss the issues, they just traded insults.

(Definition of “trade” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“trade” in American English

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tradenoun [ C/U ]

us /treɪd/

trade noun [ C/U ] (BUYING AND SELLING)

the activity of buying and selling goods and services esp. between countries:

[ U ] a trade agreement

A trade is the act of exchanging one thing for another.

trade noun [ C/U ] (JOB)

a job, esp. one that needs special skill and that involves working with your hands, or the type of work in which such skills are needed:

[ C ] the building trades
[ U ] He’s an auto mechanic/electrician by trade.

A trade is also any business:

[ C ] the book/tourist trade

tradeverb [ I/T ]

us /treɪd/

trade verb [ I/T ] (BUY AND SELL)

To trade is also to exchange something:

[ T ] The two players traded insults and nearly came to blows.

If you trade something in, such as a car, you give it as part of the payment for something new:

[ M ] He recently traded in his Jeep for a red Mercedes.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “trade” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“trade” in Business English

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tradenoun

uk /treɪd/ us

[ U ] COMMERCE the buying and selling of goods between people, companies, or countries:

trade between sb and sb The policy is intended to increase trade between India and southeast Asia.
trade in sth The country's trade in manufactured goods has expanded in the last ten years.
a trade body/group Leaders of industry trade groups are urging caution in raising oil taxes.
the minister for trade and industry

[ C ] a particular business or industry:

Members of the building trade have opposed the measure.
the car/diamond/fur trade

[ U ] ECONOMICS a country's imports and exports in a particular period:

Consumer spending slowed down and investment and net trade recovered.
The dollar has been boosted by two months of better American trade figures.

[ U ] business activity:

lose/boost trade Many small local shops have lost up to 50% of their trade since the supermarket opened.
Trade is always slow in the winter months.

[ C or U ] a job, especially one that needs special skill and involves working with your hands:

He's an electrician by trade.
She wants to go to college and learn a trade.

[ C or U ] a situation in which you exchange something that you own for something that you want:

Does anyone want to do a trade for my mobile phone?
We have hundreds of CDs available for sale or trade.

[ C or U ] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET the activity of buying and selling shares, investments, etc. or an occasion when people do this:

EBS claims to broker about 10,000 trades a day.
afternoon/morning trade was brisk.
do a roaring trade (in sth) also do a brisk trade (in sth)

to sell a lot of something:

We do a roaring trade in ice-creams during the hot weather.
the trade

a particular business or industry, and the people who work in it:

People who work in the trade can buy their books at a discount.
The website offers a huge choice of private and trade sales for secondhand buyers.
a trade journal/magazine

tradeverb

uk /treɪd/ us

[ I or T ] COMMERCE to buy and sell goods or services:

be traded between sb and sb The plan knocks down tariffs on goods traded between the two countries.
trade with sb All councils trade electronically with their suppliers.
trade in sth Besides trading in goods, we also trade in services.

to give something that you own as part of the payment for something that you buy, especially a new type of the same product:

trade sth for sth I traded my car for a new vehicle.

[ I ] to exist and operate as a business:

trade as sth The company trades as 'Pioneer Clothing'.
The business traded under the name of College Crackers.
The supermarket ceased trading in 2009.

[ I or T ] STOCK MARKET, FINANCE to buy and sell shares on a stock market:

Investors will be offered the choice of three ways to trade.
Around 95,000 long gilt contracts were traded on Liffe today.

[ I ] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to be bought and sold on a stock market:

Only six months ago the shares were trading as high as 35.5p.
Foreign stock markets were trading down about 2%.

[ T ] to exchange something, or to stop doing or using something and start doing or using something else instead:

trade sth for sth Most investors would trade a steadily climbing market for a volatile index any day.

[ I ] US COMMERCE to buy goods or do your shopping at a particular store:

We don't trade at his store anymore.

(Definition of “trade” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)