Definition of pedlar in English:



  • 1A person who goes from place to place selling small goods.

    ‘the visit of the pedlar to Irish country houses was a very special event in the lives of children in the 1950s’
    • ‘Even as late as the second half of the nineteenth century, glasses were provided by itinerant pedlars.’
    • ‘They came as sailors, pedlars, traders of all sorts, cloth merchants, spice dealers, preachers, teachers and sometimes all of the above in a single lifetime.’
    • ‘Fiercely independent, many Indians preferred to set up their own businesses, as street pedlars, entertainers and fortune-tellers.’
    • ‘The peddler was a middle-aged woman who is always happy to talk with travellers.’
    • ‘First-generation Greeks who were fruit and vegetable peddlers became owners of grocery stores; flower vendors opened florist shops.’
    • ‘Some have been forced to find work as street musicians, peddlers and beggars.’
    • ‘The interior of Port Rand was a veritable rat race of peasants and merchant peddlers, who constantly roamed the streets.’
    • ‘He said: ‘A lot of pedlars are unlicenced and you don't know how genuine they are or where the merchandise has come from.’
    • ‘Take the look on the face of the young wife whose husband is thinking of the price of the cloth a pedlar is showing her.’
    • ‘Is it that different from the travelling pedlar who hawked his wares warning that he wouldn't be there tomorrow?’
    • ‘In 1929 she had the property covered and the dealers, the clothes traders, the second-hand merchants, the knick-knack sellers, the peddlers, were out of the rain, and so were the customers.’
    • ‘Prices were partly determined by the efficiency of merchants, traders, and peddlers, as we will see in the next section.’
    • ‘Before then, buying and selling occurred through fairs, market-stalls, artisans' workshops, or itinerant pedlars.’
    • ‘Writing in 1929, Paynter recalled an itinerant pedlar who had visited fairs around East Cornwall almost two decades previously.’
    • ‘Itinerant peddlers took rags and bones from customers in trade for manufactured goods.’
    • ‘Others dealt with hucksters, peddlers who accepted chestnuts and other goods in exchange for merchandise.’
    • ‘Sometimes women worked as cooks or as itinerant peddlers of small goods on the street.’
    • ‘Disguised as a travelling pedlar or tailor and his wife, they eventually reach Germany.’
    • ‘The city streets were filled with peddlers and merchants shouting and trying to attract customers.’
    • ‘At an age when other kids play with toys, he was a street peddler of peanuts and a shoe-shiner.’
    travelling salesman, door-to-door salesman
    View synonyms
  • 2

    variant spelling of peddler


See pedal


Middle English: perhaps an alteration of synonymous dialect pedder, apparently from dialect ped ‘pannier’.