• Brass casting counters excavated on Jamestown Island. Many were made in Germany before 1575 for use by merchants on counting boards. In the New World they were used for the Indian trade
    Brass casting counters excavated on Jamestown Island. Many were made in Germany before 1575 for use by merchants on counting boards. In the New World they were used for the Indian trade
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n merchant a businessperson engaged in retail trade
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The merchant The merchant
The merchants wave cloths and swords to scare the eagle from its nest The merchants wave cloths and swords to scare the eagle from its nest
Roman merchant-ship Roman merchant-ship

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The symbols used on playing cards were supposed to represent the four classes of men: hearts represented the clergy; spades (from the Spanish word espada, or sword) represented the warriors; clubs were originally leaves and represented the peasants; and citizens and merchants were recognized in the diamonds.
    • Merchant A trading vessel; a merchantman.
    • a Merchant Of, pertaining to, or employed in, trade or merchandise; as, the merchant service.
    • Merchant One who keeps a store or shop for the sale of goods; a shopkeeper.
    • Merchant One who traffics on a large scale, especially with foreign countries; a trafficker; a trader. "Others, like merchants , venture trade abroad."
    • v. i Merchant To be a merchant; to trade.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.
    • n merchant One who is engaged in the business of buying commercial commodities and selling them again for the sake of profit; especially, one who buys and sells in quantity or by wholesale. One who buys without selling again, or who sells without having bought, as where one sells products of his own labor, or who buys and sells exclusively articles not the subject of ordinary commerce, or who buys and sells commercial articles on salary and not for profit, is not usually termed a merchant. Those who buy or sell on a commission for others are termed commission-merchants. In the law of bankruptcy, which forbids a discharge to merchants and traders who have not kept proper books of account, the term has a more extended meaning, having been held to include a livery-stable keeper who buys hay and grain and indirectly sells it by boarding horses, but not a broker who speculates in stocks.
    • n merchant A supercargo; the person in charge of the business affairs of a trading expedition.
    • n merchant A merchant ship or vessel; a merchantman.
    • n merchant A shop-keeper or store-keeper.
    • n merchant A fellow; a chap.
    • merchant Relating to trade or commerce; commercial: as, the law merchant. See law.
    • merchant Pertaining to merchants; belonging to the mercantile class; engaged or used in trade or commerce.
    • merchant To trade; buy or sell; deal; barter; traffic; negotiate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1996, Christmas caroling was banned at two major malls in Pensacola, Florida. Apparently, shoppers and merchants complained the carolers were too loud and took up too much space.
    • n Merchant mėr′chant one who carries on trade, esp. on a large scale: one who buys and sells goods: a trader:
    • adj Merchant pertaining to trade or merchandise
    • n Merchant mėr′chant (obs.) a supercargo: a merchant-vessel
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. [Merchant Of Venice]”
  • Anatole France
    “There are very honest people who do not think that they have had a bargain unless they have cheated a merchant.”
  • Charles Baudelaire
    “For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “The devil can site scripture for his own purpose! An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek. [Merchant Of Venice]”
  • Thomas Jefferson
    “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”
  • James Dye
    James Dye
    “They deceive themself and thus us; merchants and tycoons of the world. Evil has gone from bad to worse for a worthless reward. ”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. marchant, OF. marcheant, F. marchand, fr. LL. mercatans, -antis, p. pr. of mercatare, to negotiate, L. mercari, to traffic, fr. merx, mercis, wares. See Market Merit, and cf. Commerce
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. marchand.


In literature:

They are the most capable merchants in Asia, and have few if any superiors among the merchants of western nations.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
The privilege brought him into collision with several bodies of merchants.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
This path had a hedge of roses on each side of it, and the merchant thought he had never seen or smelled such exquisite flowers.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
Senator Smith of Maryland, a large shipping merchant, bore testimony to this.
"Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812" by Alfred Thayer Mahan
The lad asked these real merchants the same questions he had asked of the feigned merchants the night before.
"Tales of Folk and Fairies" by Katharine Pyle
The great native merchants of Bombay, &c., and a very useful class as merchants and shopkeepers all along the Malabar coast.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
A fu' purse maks a haverin merchant.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
You must have heard the name of the merchant Jussuf, the king of merchants!
"Eastern Tales by Many Story Tellers" by Various
An honest merchant should not boast his merchandise too much, no more should he underestimate it.
"The Brass Bell" by Eugène Sue
Strange merchants drive by her, and they look anxiously after their wagons laden with merchandise.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen

In poetry:

The merchant-men, 'tis they say so,
That trade across the western seas,
In hurried transit to and fro,
About Hesperides.
"Hesperides" by Richard Le Gallienne
What speak you of?--your wares?
My sister shall be called to bargain with you
For them (so much for the sly listener), I
Have nothing to transact now with the merchant.
"Nathan The Wise - Act III" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
It charmed away the merchant from his guile,
And turned the farmer's memory from his cattle,
And hushed in sleep the roaring ranks of battle:
And all grew friendly for a little while.
"The Dedication To A Book Of Stories Selected From The Irish Novelists" by William Butler Yeats
The merchant took all that his warehouse could hold,
The abbot selected the last year's best wine,
The king barred the bridges,—the highways controlled,
And said, "Now remember, the tithes shall be mine!"
"The Division Of The Earth" by Friedrich von Schiller
Sudden as winds that madd'ning sweep
The foaming surface of the deep,
Vast treasures, trusted to the wave,
Were buried in the billowy grave!
Our Merchant, late of boundless store,
Saw Famine hasting to his door.
"Beauty And The Beast" by Charles Lamb
When glimmering through the vapours drear,
A taper shew'd a dwelling near.
And guess our Merchant's glad surprise,
When a rich palace seemed to rise
As on he mov'd! The knee be bent,
Thankful to Heaven; then nearer went.
"Beauty And The Beast" by Charles Lamb

In news:

The mass merchant posts a 6.5% sales increase for the quarter.
Mass merchant Overstock .com Inc reversed a third quarter loss with a return to profit and an increase in quarterly sales.
It was a better quarter all around for mass merchant Overstock .com Inc, which reported gains in both sales and profits for the second period.
You'll find a lot of downtown merchants who say panhandlers are a problem.
Utah's Panoptic Security Inc, a provider of services to ensure merchants comply with credit card security standards, has been purchased by an Irish company.
Square has grown quickly as a mobile payments service by simplifying the payments process, but has lately been adding more tools to increase customer loyalty with merchants.
Hanusik, a retired seed merchant, involved himself in St Patrick parish.
Passbook loaded with loyalty cards, offers and tickets from various merchants.
Amendments to Casper municipal code pertaining to pawnshops will not include mandatory photos and will only apply to a limited range of second hand merchants.
Searching for better ways to serve shoppers, merchants turn to site search.
Merchants sold art, sculptures and even woodworking crafts as dozens turned out for the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival in Downtown Fairhope on Oct 6, 2012.
The concept is not new, but Mr Huang says BitPass's advanced technology is simpler for both consumers and merchants than anything previously on the market.
Revealed that it's definitely not the same-old, same-old in the consumer electronics sections of mass merchants Walmart, Kmart and Target.
Commonwealth Bank rolled out a new set of mobile software, hardware and applications technologies today for merchants enabling point-of-sale transactions.
Privateers like Boyle raided British merchant ships and took their goods and treasures.

In science:

Merchant by the DIT grant on High performance cognitive radio.
Capacity and Spectral Efficiency of Interference Avoiding Cognitive Radio with Imperfect Detection
If we remove TOPIX from the graph, it can be noted that the nodes are separated to three groups: Domestic industry (Pharmacy, Cellphones), Exporting industry (Car manufacturers) and Importing industry (General merchants).
Constraint-free Graphical Model with Fast Learning Algorithm
Similarity over corpus of documents, according to a selected subset of features, can be used to detect nearduplicates and reduce redundancy [41, 10, 52, 20, 37, 42]. A retail merchant may want to cluster locations according to sales data for a certain type of merchandise.
Coordinated Weighted Sampling for Estimating Aggregates Over Multiple Weight Assignments
Watson, A treatise on the theory of Bessel functions, Merchant Books, 2008.
Gaussian distribution for the divisor function and Hecke eigenvalues in arithmetic progressions