Meaning of TRAFFIC in English


I. ˈtrafik, -fēk noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle French trafique, from Old Italian traffico, from trafficare


a. : commercial activity usually involving import and export trade

nurtured by land and water traffic , it grew into a commercial center — American Guide Series: Arkansas

b. : the activity of exchanging commodities by bartering or buying and selling

traffic with the Indians, exchanging jewelry for horses

perishable and livestock traffic … consigned to other than morning markets — Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)

middle classes … conducting the traffic by which they live — Agnes Repplier

proud of his snug traffic in rich men's bonds, mortgages and deeds — Leo Marx

c. : illegal or disreputable usually commercial activity

a few such experiences sent him back to the narcotics traffic — Frank O'Leary

traffic in honors … and pardons was incessant — T.B.Macaulay

evidence of Red traffic in contraband arms — Wall Street Journal

prohibit transportation in interstate commerce for the white slave traffic — Congressional Record


a. : communication or dealings between individuals or groups : intercourse , business

held that there was no traffic between the human and the divine — John Buchan

realized for us in the three-hours traffic of the stage — J.I.M.Stewart

don't want any more traffic with his sort

for through our lively traffic all the day — W.H.Auden

b. : reciprocal giving and receiving : exchange

facilitate a lively traffic in ideas — F.L.Allen


a. archaic : goods

you'll see a draggled damsel … her fishy traffic bear — John Gay

b. traffics plural : cargo

move bulk traffics over long distances at reasonable speeds — P.E.Garbutt



(1) : the circulation (as of vehicles or pedestrians) through an area : passage to and fro

flooring … suitable for light traffic — National Fire Codes

heavy lake traffic during the summer months

(2) : the flow of vehicles, pedestrians, ships, or planes (as along a street or sidewalk or air or sea lane)

will open a needed avenue … for passenger and freight traffic — M.M.Lilly & G.H.Kester

the full flood of the Christmas traffic — Compton Mackenzie


(1) : the vehicles or pedestrians moving along a route

air and sea traffic will be notified — Science

construction of the building attracted the interest of sidewalk traffic

(2) : the volume of vehicles or pedestrians moving along a route

engineers … who tabulate the traffic — A.W.Baum


(1) : the information or signals transmitted or received over a communications system : messages

made arrangements for an interchange of traffic with other lines — H.W.Faulkner

(2) : the flow of messages or signals through a communications system

radio traffic has stepped up enormously — Pat Frank

d. : the volume of customers visiting a business establishment

floor traffic in its showroom was up 60 percent — Newsweek


a. : the number of passengers or amount of cargo carried by a transportation system

railroads handled more traffic than in the previous peak year — E.C.Helmreich

oceangoing passenger traffic — Current Biography

b. : the business of transporting passengers or freight

proposals … to get a proper share of international air traffic — C.H.Grattan

plans for a resurrected river traffic — American Guide Series: Minnesota

6. : traffic department

- the traffic will bear

II. “, esp in pres part -fək verb

also traf·fick “

( traf·ficked ; trafficked ; trafficking ; traffics also trafficks )

Etymology: Middle French trafiquer, from Old Italian trafficare

intransitive verb


a. : to engage in commercial activity : buy and sell regularly : trade

got my living for a while by … trafficking in rabbit skins — Augusta Gregory

last of the impresarios … who trafficked in art in the grand manner — Bernard Simon

b. : to engage in illegal or disreputable business or activity

began to traffic in army promotions — Geoffrey Bruun

2. : to carry on communication or negotiation : deal , bargain

will not traffic with the breakers of the peace — H.S.Truman

convinced himself … the child was trafficking with bards, or druids, or witches — W.B.Yeats

3. : to concentrate one's effort or interest : specialize

virtuoso soloists … continue to traffic in the well-worn favorites — Lawrence Morton

characteristic of a medium which traffics in comedy extremes — Newsweek

4. : to pass to and fro : wander

spilled out of their houses to laugh and traffic along its … streets — Lucy Embury

transitive verb

1. : to journey over : travel

most heavily trafficked highway in the state — American Guide Series: Vermont

venture to traffic them in the day, but few would risk such perilous thoroughfares by night — F.S.Merryweather

2. : to make an exchange of : trade , barter

pies and cakes being trafficked back and forth across the street — Arthur Miller

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.