Definition of peddler in English:


(also pedlar)


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

    • ‘The sights and smells of the island (beginning with the oranges pedlars are selling on the train) creep up on you as the train snakes south towards the Straits of Messina.’
    • ‘Some pedlars sell flowers to foreigners at a price two or three times higher than normal, but I treat them all the same,’ she said.’
    • ‘The origins of the festival go back 200 years, when apprentices and servants had an afternoon's holiday to play ball games on the south bay beach, attracting pedlars selling refreshments in later years.’
    • ‘These were a very persistent variety of peddler that would not take a polite ‘No thank you’ for an answer (even when spoken in Thai).’
    • ‘Large numbers became pedlars, selling very cheap household products, such as pots and pans.’
    • ‘As we climbed the steps to the Bund, the foreigners in the group were surrounded by persistent peddlers of postcards, maps and carvings, and even an offer to do a charcoal portrait.’
    • ‘No peddlers try to sell me jewelry, bottled water or not-quite-cold beer.’
    • ‘A peddler came into view, selling toys and candy and fun trinkets.’
    • ‘In more recent times, roadside peddlers sold concoctions to cure hair loss that ranged from vitamin elixirs to lotions that were designed to work under a cap while the hopeful slept.’
    • ‘There were so many things for him to absorb, from the peddlers selling their wares on the jetty, to the fast transcars that zoomed up and down the crowded streets.’
    • ‘At first, peddlers sold handcrafted toys at fairs and door to door.’
    • ‘Her hand stroked the padded cushioning of a seat, and lingered over the fine lace that blurred and beautified the view of drunks and pedlars in the street below.’
    • ‘Twenty years ago it was a sliver of a place where locals munched on ribs and greens at its long narrow counter and listened to the juke box, while peddlers wandered in selling everything from new shoes to floor-waxing machines.’
    • ‘Tea vendors pass by, and peddlers sell clothes, snacks and herbs from strategic positions on the ground.’
    travelling salesman, door-to-door salesman
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    1. 1.1A person who sells illegal drugs or stolen goods.
      ‘a drug peddler’
      • ‘Leaders of various political parties had earlier alleged that the police of the area was hand and glove with drug peddlers who were selling poppy in most of the villages of the area.’
      • ‘In Australia, peddlers of illegal animal products are attempting to use one of the country's biggest e-commerce sites to sell items protected by national and international laws, as Emma Jolliff reports.’
      • ‘It is well known that he was a street peddler illegally selling bootlegged tapes.’
      • ‘‘Problems such as rubbish piles, noise and illegal street pedlars are easy to solve, while the complicated ones, relating to big enterprises, are harder to touch,’ she said.’
      • ‘Law enforcement agencies therefore responded by resorting to the apprehension of rather small-scale drug peddlers.’
      • ‘Drug peddlers target people between the ages of seven and 35 as their market.’
      • ‘Operation Clean-Up has focused on the busiest burglars, robbers and drug pedlars who have persistently broken the law.’
      • ‘They become prey to illegal and untrained vendors, to peddlers of fake and stolen drugs.’
      • ‘This Budget signals another dramatic improvement in early childhood education and another $54 million in the war on drug pedlars.’
      • ‘Often abused, they fall prey to drug pedlars, pimps and child traffickers.’
      • ‘Let's not in any way assist these drug peddlers by concealing them or their activities in any shape or form.’
      • ‘As the child navigates through a minefield of drug peddlers, crack-addicts and gang members, we get a disturbing glimpse of life for these children.’
      • ‘The illegal drugs were then transported to nearby Infanta town ahead of being distributed to illegal drug peddlers in Manila.’
      • ‘He felt drug peddlers and users could use the opportunity to trade and use drugs freely.’
      • ‘They outed drug pedlars, challenging them to account for themselves at community meetings.’
      • ‘She was kept along with drug peddlers and those caught in immoral trafficking.’
      • ‘Drug peddlers and addicts are much in evidence.’
      • ‘Even worse, new victims would be seduced into trying heroin or other drugs by addicts or peddlers posing as ‘friends.’’
      • ‘A majority of them are rag pickers, petty hawkers, shoeshine boys, beggars and sometimes, petty pickpockets and drug peddlers.’
      • ‘Police have made a series of arrests across Bradford in a crackdown on drug peddlers over the Easter weekend.’
      trafficker, dealer
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    2. 1.2A person who promotes an idea or view persistently or widely.
      ‘peddlers of dangerous utopianism’
      • ‘Luckily, the peddlers of this dangerous message haven't come up with a catchy jingle.’


see pedal


Middle English: perhaps an alteration of synonymous dialect pedder, apparently from dialect ped basket.