a. The passage of people or vehicles along routes of transportation.
b. Vehicles or pedestrians in transit: heavy traffic on the turnpike; stopped oncoming traffic to let the children cross.
a. The commercial exchange of goods; trade.
b. Illegal or improper commercial activity: drug traffic on city streets. See Synonyms at business.
a. The business of moving passengers and cargo through a transportation system.
b. The amount of cargo or number of passengers conveyed.
a. The conveyance of messages or data through a system of communication: routers that manage internet traffic.
b. Messages or data conveyed through such a system: a tremendous amount of telephone traffic on Mother's Day; couldn't download the file due to heavy internet traffic.
c. The number of users or visitors, as at a website: attempted to increase traffic with a redesigned homepage.
5. Social or verbal exchange; communication: refused further traffic with the estranged friend.
v. traf·ficked, traf·fick·ing, traf·fics
To carry on trade or other dealings: trafficked in liquidation merchandise; traffic with gangsters.
To provide to others, especially in large quantities, in exchange for money: was accused of trafficking guns to local gangs.
[French trafic, from Old French trafique, from Old Italian traffico, from trafficare, to trade, perhaps from Catalan trafegar, to decant, from Vulgar Latin *trānsfaecāre : trāns-, trans- + faex, faec-, dregs; see FECES.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.