Definition of “traffic” - English Dictionary

“traffic” in English

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trafficnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈtræf.ɪk/ us /ˈtræf.ɪk/

traffic noun [ U ] (VEHICLES)

A2 the number of vehicles moving along roads, or the amount of aircraft, trains, or ships moving along a route:

There was heavy/a lot of traffic on the roads this morning.
We got stuck in traffic for several hours.
New measures have been introduced to try and ease traffic congestion in the city.
Five people were injured in a traffic accident (= one involving vehicles).
US I heard about the accident on the traffic report on the radio this morning.
Air traffic has increased 30 percent in the last decade.

people or goods transported by road, air, train, or ship, as a business:

The airline halved its overseas service because of a sharp reduction in traffic.
Environmental groups want more passenger and freight traffic moved off the roads and onto trains.

More examples

traffic noun [ U ] (INTERNET)

specialized internet & telecoms the activity of data and messages passing through an online communication system or the number of visits to a particular website:

internet traffic
Twitter traffic
web/website/site traffic
We can give you advice on how to improve your site traffic and generate sales.


uk /ˈtræf.ɪk/ us /ˈtræf.ɪk/ present participle trafficking, past tense and past participle trafficked
noun [ U ] uk /ˈtræf.ɪ.kɪŋ/ us /ˈtræf.ɪ.kɪŋ/

arms/drugs trafficking
human/people trafficking

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

“traffic” in American English

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trafficnoun [ U ]

us /ˈtræf·ɪk/

traffic noun [ U ] (MOVING THINGS)

the movement of vehicles or people along roads, or the movement of aircraft, trains, or ships along a route:

heavy/rush-hour traffic
Air traffic has increased 30% in the last decade.

traffic noun [ U ] (TRADE)

illegal trade:

They’re trying to cut down on the traffic in exotic birds being sold illegally.

trafficverb [ I ]

us /ˈtræf·ɪk/ present participle trafficking, past tense and past participle trafficked

to buy and sell something illegally:

He was charged with trafficking in stolen goods.

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

“traffic” in Business English

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trafficnoun [ U ]

uk /ˈtræfɪk/ us

TRANSPORT all the vehicles that are on a road or all the aircraft, trains, or ships that are along a route or in an area at a particular time:

air/rail/road traffic All commercial air traffic in the area has been cancelled.
Rome has a video tracking system installed to help reduce traffic congestion.
Banks study migration and traffic trends in deciding where to locate branches.

TRANSPORT, COMMERCE people or goods transported by road, air, train, or ship, as a business:

The loss of passenger and freight traffic to ferries and low cost airlines have forced Eurotunnel to produce yet another recovery programme.

IT the amount of data moving between computers or systems at a particular time:

We need a telecom infrastructure that can handle fast-growing internet traffic.
They need to convert to broadband to cope with the growing volume of data and voice traffic.

MARKETING the number of people buying goods or using a service at a particular time:

Many casino companies produced solid earnings from heavy traffic during the New Year's holiday.
The sites that are attracting traffic are professional blogs.

the illegal trade of goods or people:

the brutal trade in human traffic
traffic in/of sth Most of the traffic of narcotics is not detected.

trafficverb [ T ]

uk /ˈtræfɪk/ us trafficking, trafficked

to buy and sell goods or people illegally:

He pleaded no contest to trafficking 10,000 pounds of marijuana.
traffic sb/sth somewhere An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders each year.

Phrasal verb(s)

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