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 ©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.