Meaning of TRAFFIC in English
I. traf ‧ fic 1 S1 W2 /ˈtræfɪk/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable]
[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Early French trafique , from Old Italian traffico , from trafficare 'to trade' ]
1 . the vehicles moving along a road or street:
There wasn’t much traffic on the roads.
The sound of the traffic kept me awake.
2 . the movement of aircraft, ships, or trains from one place to another:
air traffic control
the problems of air traffic congestion in Europe
3 . formal the movement of people or goods by aircraft, ships, or trains
Most long-distance traffic of heavy goods is done by ships.
4 . the secret buying and selling of illegal goods:
traffic in firearms
• • •
▪ be stuck/caught/held up in traffic
Sorry I’m late – I was stuck in traffic.
▪ avoid/miss the traffic
I left early, hoping to miss the traffic.
▪ cut/reduce traffic
The congestion charge did cut road traffic in central London.
▪ traffic moves/flows
At last the traffic was moving again.
▪ traffic is diverted (=made to go in another direction)
Traffic was diverted onto the A166 as emergency services cleared the wreckage
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + traffic
We ran into heavy traffic near the airport.
The traffic is fairly light at this time of day.
The traffic was terrible this morning.
Traffic’s very slow going out of New York.
▪ rush-hour traffic
I left early to try to miss the rush-hour traffic.
▪ local traffic
There is quite a lot of local traffic.
▪ motorway traffic British English , freeway traffic AmE:
As motorway traffic worsens, commuters may have to find other ways of getting to and from work.
▪ oncoming traffic (=traffic coming towards you)
The driver, too busy watching oncoming traffic, doesn’t notice the pedestrian ahead.
■ traffic + NOUN
▪ a traffic jam (=a line of cars that have stopped, or are moving very slowly)
She spent two hours sitting in a traffic jam.
▪ traffic congestion (=when the roads are full of traffic)
efforts to cut traffic congestion
▪ traffic flow (=the steady movement of traffic)
The road widening should help to improve traffic flow.
▪ a traffic accident
He’s been involved in a traffic accident.
▪ the traffic police (=police dealing with traffic problems and illegal driving)
The teenagers got stopped by the local traffic police.
▪ traffic noise
You get a lot of traffic noise living here.
▪ the volume of traffic
The new ring road will reduce the volume of traffic through the village.
▪ a stream of traffic (=a long continuous series of cars, trucks etc)
There was a constant stream of traffic.
▪ the roar/rumble/hum of traffic
The only noise was the distant rumble of traffic on the coastal road.
II. traffic 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle trafficked , present participle trafficking ) [transitive]
to take someone to another country and force them to work, for example as a ↑ prostitute :
He had made a fortune by trafficking young women.
traffic in something phrasal verb
to buy and sell illegal goods:
Lewis was found guilty of trafficking in drugs.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012