1. One whose occupation is the wholesale purchase and retail sale of goods for profit.
2. One who runs a retail business; a shopkeeper.
1. Of or relating to merchants, merchandise, or commercial trade: a merchant guild.
2. Of or relating to the merchant marine: merchant ships.
[Middle English marchaunt, from Old French marcheant, from Vulgar Latin *mercātāns, present participle of *mercātāre, frequentative of Latin mercārī, to trade, from merx, merc-, merchandise.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.