Definition of trade in English:



  • 1The action of buying and selling goods and services.

    ‘a move to ban all trade in ivory’
    ‘a significant increase in foreign trade’
    ‘the meat trade’
    • ‘She recently attended a conference on international trade in Germany.’
    • ‘This foreign exchange speculation now outstrips global trade in goods and services.’
    • ‘Urbanisation accelerated, and with it Africa's international trade in manufactures and services.’
    • ‘Free exchange of trade in goods and services, and trying to energize a more market oriented set of arrangements in countries.’
    • ‘The daily trade in currency exchange alone is more than 50 times the value of world trade in goods and services.’
    • ‘The retail liquor trade in New York state in those days was burdened by antiquated laws and corrupt officialdom.’
    • ‘The explosion of global trade in the postwar era is usually attributed to the lowering of tariffs and other trade barriers.’
    • ‘The other top priority agenda in Hong Kong is the general agreement on trade in services and non-agricultural market access.’
    • ‘The industry, services and trade in the city should have the gumption to gang up against the political parties.’
    • ‘New Zealand does $1 billion of trade in goods and services with our Pacific neighbours.’
    • ‘Today there is growing trade in services and intellectual property.’
    • ‘Global trade seems to require something a little more intricate.’
    • ‘UK deficit on trade in goods and services in January stood at £4.6 billion’
    • ‘These include trade in services, intellectual property, e-commerce, investment and labour standards.’
    • ‘There must somehow be a basis for international trade in goods and services.’
    • ‘The local involvement in the timber trade was restricted to manual labour and shifting timber sleepers after they were cut.’
    • ‘The creation of a complex global economy has had effects way beyond the international trade in goods and services.’
    • ‘The programme was set up in July 1999 to promote international trade in Europe.’
    commerce, buying and selling, dealing, traffic, trafficking, business, marketing, merchandising, bargaining
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1derogatory, dated The practice of making one's living in business, as opposed to in a profession or from unearned income.
      ‘the aristocratic classes were contemptuous of those in trade’
    2. 1.2North American (in sports) a transfer; an exchange.
      ‘players can demand a trade after five years of service’
      • ‘He could make a trade demand while inhaling, then take it back while exhaling.’
      • ‘What other executive has turned so many mediocre/bad teams into solid playoff teams through his trades?’
      • ‘Also, the franchise was saddled with bad draft picks and even worse trades in its infancy and still hasn't recovered.’
      • ‘I wasn't concerned so much with who they got in return or whether they ‘won’ a trade.’
      • ‘With such a recent history of poor trades and draft picks, some changes needed to be made.’
      • ‘Because of trades and minor league promotions, all three outfield spots and two middle infield positions are up for grabs.’
      • ‘Sportswriters love midseason trades because they're fun to write about.’
      • ‘It's clear his uncertain status limits what Philadelphia can demand in a trade.’
      • ‘There's contracts not worth the paper they're written on as players everywhere seemingly can demand trades whenever or however they want.’
      • ‘This trade is conditional to all four players passing their physicals.’
      • ‘Despite the aid of a late-round trade and two compensatory picks, they left with eight unfilled.’
      • ‘By contract, he can demand a trade to any team, minus six he excludes, within 10 days of the World Series.’
      • ‘He was at the helm for less than two years and only had one off-season to make trades and sign free agents.’
      • ‘Few players on the roster have minor league options, so one solution might be a two-for-one trade to open a roster spot.’
      • ‘An aggressive streak with free agency and trades has offset some so-so draft picks and mistakes with the defense.’
      • ‘But injuries and trades are expected in sports.’
      • ‘He told local reporters that he would never demand a trade no matter how ugly his contract negotiations become.’
      • ‘The big fella no longer is demanding a trade, which wasn't feasible anyway, or to be waived, which was unlikely.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, NFL fans have come to expect trades featuring faceless draft picks.’
      • ‘They're reviewing rules with brokers who sell their funds and with transfer agencies that process trades.’
  • 2A skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training.

    ‘the fundamentals of the construction trade’
    ‘a carpenter by trade’
    • ‘The development of new trades requires protection.’
    • ‘Home inspection is a trade that requires special training, knowledge, and skills.’
    • ‘Depending on their skills in other trades, we can find right jobs for them.’
    • ‘It is training firefighters in the skills of the trade and the tools to have and then training them in the methodology of how you deal with a particular problem.’
    • ‘Over the past year, Scott has undergone work-based training in the plumbing trade while studying at college for one day a week.’
    • ‘Some could also receive training in trades or office skills.’
    • ‘And it also keeps alive ancient trades, skills and crafts by channelling them into making products for the western consumer.’
    • ‘It begins at school leaving age in manual trades and post higher education for professionals.’
    • ‘Workshop practices and detailed technical information is available in guides and manuals to the trade.’
    • ‘The designers went to great lengths to seek out artists with skills in trades that have almost died out: glass-blowers, blacksmiths and woodcarvers.’
    • ‘Note also that the scrivener recorded the trade for the male applicant but not for the two female.’
    • ‘I was looking for people with specific trades and technical skills, but alongside me were my colleagues who were going to recruit people like Gurkhas.’
    • ‘When so few people have been encouraged to learn trades, the special skills involved in them become esoteric.’
    • ‘Local and regional organisations have come together to establish a web-based catalogue of rural trades and skills.’
    • ‘An impending skills shortage in the trades means jobs are opening up to women.’
    • ‘They can also acquire skills in trades such as leatherworking, fishing, jewel crafting, and many more, that help them on their quests.’
    • ‘The centre, not yet named, will provide vocational training in creative industries and manual trades.’
    • ‘For the 37-year-old former hairdresser, it's the culmination of three years of hard work learning the skills of the trade.’
    • ‘Four years actual work experience and training including the equivalent of apprenticeship or vocational training in the trade.’
    • ‘Traditional skills and trades will be displayed such as paper making, corn dolly craft, basket making and spinning.’
    craft, occupation, job, day job, career, profession, business, pursuit, living, livelihood, line, line of work, line of business, vocation, calling, walk of life, province, field
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[treated as singular or plural]The people engaged in a particular area of business.
      ‘in the trade this sort of computer is called “a client-based system.”’
      • ‘That paragraph requires the loan in question to have been used wholly for the purposes of the trade carried out by the recipient of the loan, in this case the company.’
      • ‘This phrase suggests that in the Government's view lower dose levels and fewer supplements would be better for public health but unfortunate for the trade.’
      • ‘The company sells mainly to the trade, but is now hoping to add more retail sales to the mix.’
      • ‘These were the small fry of the trade, the hawkers, who often reappeared with new stock mere hours after a confrontation.’
      • ‘Before the season begins those in the trade identify jackfruit trees in the area that give good quality fruit.’
      • ‘There is a new hard-headedness to the trade today.’
      • ‘Gauthier's Chevrolet Sunfire carried a recording device - known in the trade as a EDR, or event data recorder.’
      • ‘As they are selling to the trade, the minimum order is £50 but the fungi will keep for a couple of years and the small jars would make the greatest presents.’
      • ‘Illicit dealers targeted the trade as demand for poultry meat increased year on year.’
      • ‘He comes into the trade at a buoyant time, with brisk business reported locally in the market.’
      • ‘The aim should be to build an honest relationship with 10 journalists across the trade and national press.’
      • ‘These individuals are the lynchpin of the trade, the middlemen and act as the link between breeder and pet shops.’
      • ‘Such cakes are sometimes called ‘high ratio cakes’ in the trade.’
      • ‘Pet owners will have to register their wildlife and agree never to sell them back into the trade.’
      • ‘Soon the business began to offer wholesale framing to the trade.’
      • ‘For the information of those of you not in the trade, that ‘under prolonged questioning by journalists’ speaks volumes.’
      • ‘It was his policy to ask no questions in his dealings with the trade.’
      • ‘As befits the trade, antique dealers are gabby and knowledgeable and prone to bemoaning that things aren't what they used to be.’
      • ‘We will not be attempting to target the trade, so we're not going to be selling things like cement mixers.’
      • ‘With a worried look on your face, they give you the bits they sell to the trade rather than the DIY-ers; better quality, and much cheaper.’
      commerce, buying and selling, dealing, traffic, trafficking, business, marketing, merchandising, bargaining
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2British [treated as singular or plural]People licensed to sell alcoholic drink.
      • ‘Lovely man, but I don't think he's got a future in the licensed trade.’
      • ‘The licensed trade are self-righteous, self-obsessed and selfish in their opposition to a ban.’
      • ‘Well, the experts in the trade tell us that your favourite soft drink tastes best when it's chilled right down to four degrees Celsius.’
      • ‘He knows a thing or two about York's licensed trade.’
      • ‘Countless other women in the licensed trade will be watching the case with great interest.’
      • ‘He told campaigners that he would speak to representatives in the licensed trade to see if he could find a buyer for the pub.’
      • ‘Most of those who engaged in the trade shared this view.’
      • ‘Traders reported significant new contacts, both from within the trade and from among visiting enthusiasts.’
      • ‘A vintner found selling corrupt wine was forced to drink it, then banned from the trade.’
      • ‘They argued that times are hard for the trade as there is little business in Pendle and especially Nelson with few thriving pubs and clubs.’
      • ‘The good news is that if you want to pursue a career in the licensed trade there are industry recognised forms of career development.’
      • ‘David has lived in pubs all his life and is the third generation of his family to have gone into the trade.’
      • ‘Publicans say the licensed trade is dying in Bradford as people are reluctant to re-open businesses which were damaged during the riots.’
      • ‘The licensed trade is in his blood; his father ran a pub in Sowerby Bridge.’
      • ‘I do not believe that stopping the debate or cancelling the very hard work that has been done so far by both officers and representatives of the trade would be of help in any way.’
      • ‘This bars entry to the trade with licences being sold for up to €150,000, he said.’
      • ‘But many in the licensed trade are unhappy about the latest attempt to curb binge drinking.’
      • ‘The truth is that nobody - the Government, the police, the licensed trade - can be sure what will happen when the new law takes effect.’
      • ‘I think that for the next two years or so we could see a similar thing happening, and that would be a real problem for the licensed trade.’
      • ‘It is important to remember that the marketer's goals and the trade's goals are not necessarily the same.’
    3. 2.3informal A person in gay male sexual encounters who is not penetrated sexually and usually considers himself to be heterosexual.
  • 3A trade wind.

    ‘the north-east trades’
    • ‘Typically, the trades bring warm moist air towards the Indonesian region.’


  • 1[no object] Buy and sell goods and services.

    ‘middlemen trading in luxury goods’
    • ‘Unfortunately some of the holidays may not be available in the future and if the company ceases trading in the meantime, then consumers could lose considerable sums of money.’
    • ‘But the problem arose when individuals, allegedly importing for their own use, started trading in imported vehicles.’
    • ‘But trading in new stocks is typically purely speculative.’
    • ‘Shareholders approved motions at an extraordinary general meeting to cease trading in the company's shares on the London stock exchange on February 14.’
    • ‘Dozens of utilities have suffered huge losses from trading in the wholesale market.’
    • ‘The ban means all auction marts have ceased trading in livestock.’
    • ‘This includes trading in two equity funds listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.’
    • ‘Producers and merchants trading in pine honey risk confiscation of their goods if they put it on the market with this trade mark.’
    • ‘One road sells cane-ware, another has scrap merchants trading in steel and iron, wholesale merchants who deal in old cloth.’
    • ‘However, as Jon's pointed out, the trading of goods and services is different to trading in events.’
    • ‘Under these plans, London was to become a centre for trading in blue-chip stocks and Frankfurt a hub for high-tech growth stocks.’
    • ‘Eventually, the stock exchange suspended trading in the stock.’
    • ‘However, developers are much more cautious and trading in office sites is almost at a standstill.’
    • ‘While trading in stock options was increasing, both the volume and variety of other types of derivatives were growing explosively.’
    • ‘Such patients might be trading in the stock market, and might be the type to jump out of the window, if share prices were to plummet sharply.’
    • ‘Anhui Province was called ‘Huizhou’ in ancient times, renowned for its rich merchants trading in salt, tea, wood and pawnbroking.’
    • ‘Their other big supplier started trading in computer chips in February 2002.’
    • ‘He said it is a huge disappointment this company has now ceased trading in the circumstances reported.’
    deal, traffic
    do business, deal, run, operate
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    1. 1.1[with object]Buy or sell (a particular item or product)
      ‘she has traded millions of dollars' worth of metals’
      • ‘When you savour your morning coffee, you're sipping on the second most traded commodity after oil.’
      • ‘Instead of trading a commodity, what is traded is the right or the obligation to buy or sell a commodity at a future point.’
      • ‘Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil.’
      • ‘Vets are the only ones who are allowed to sell it, trade it, and so on.’
      • ‘It was here that the humans sold and traded their slaves.’
      • ‘The expense issue would be less of a problem if there was a mandatory requirement (or a tax penalty if not fulfilled) for shops to sell fairly trading goods.’
      • ‘The second most valuable traded commodity, after oil, industrial coffee thrives on economic and environmental exploitation.’
      • ‘There are people from all over the world buying, selling, and trading collectibles and antiques on eBay.’
      • ‘There will be swap meets and dealer booths for those looking to sell or trade items, or expand their collections.’
      • ‘Then they would conquer these countries, take their glass products back, and trade them with the next country in line.’
      • ‘So call your credit card company and ask them to mark your account ‘Do not sell or trade my name to another company.’’
      • ‘People and carts ran throughout the dusty dirt streets and animals being traded or sold to butchers or other farmers crowded the path.’
      • ‘Consumers ‘will have plenty of choices for legally sold and legally traded furniture.’’
      • ‘The most commonly traded commodity was ‘dumps’ of credit card data.’
      • ‘People were running about, buying, selling, and trading their goods.’
      • ‘The group estimates that about $8 billion in pirated American-published books were sold or traded last year.’
      • ‘He started his career trading commodities, working till 2am to catch the latest crop reports from Brazil.’
      • ‘I have followed and traded the commodities markets since 1975.’
      • ‘He said housing should not be treated in the same way as non-essential traded commodities for speculation, or investment.’
      • ‘These lists of vulnerable computers are often traded or sold over the Internet and help virus writers plant their viruses quickly.’
    2. 1.2(especially of shares or currency) be bought and sold at a specified price.
      ‘the dollar was trading where it was in January’
      • ‘This values the company, whose shares trade at 247p, at 16 times prospective profits.’
      • ‘The shares were then trading at 50 cent.’
      • ‘Buying incubator shares at inflated prices, whose underlying assets where just other dotcom shares trading at inflated prices, was never going to work.’
      • ‘By April 1981, there were a large number of newspaper stocks publicly traded on U.S. stock exchanges.’
      • ‘Certainly, there are some good reasons why most property companies' shares should trade at a modest discount to their net asset value.’
      • ‘Across the board - both here and in Britain - property company shares are trading at substantial discounts to their net asset values.’
      • ‘Shares are currently trading at $0.68, so this is an excellent time to get into the market.’
      • ‘Shares are currently trading at $10.80 and there is a healthy turnover rate.’
      • ‘So even though the shares are trading at a fifth of their peak last September they still look a bit too rich for me.’
      • ‘He said he would continue to build up his stake in the company but it would depend on the price at which the shares were trading.’
      • ‘Another alternative is to buy shares in a property company whose share price is trading at a discount to its net asset value.’
      • ‘The preference shares have traded at a 29 per cent premium to the ordinary shares.’
      • ‘However, with the shares currently trading just off an all-time high, we would look for price weakness to build a position.’
      • ‘A company will agree with its investment bank to create an option to stabilise the share price before the shares begin trading publicly.’
      • ‘The shares are currently trading around the 52-week high of 138 pence they hit on April 7.’
      • ‘The shares are currently trading at over $48 and analysts have a share price target of over $70 on the stock.’
      • ‘Often, the resulting price will be less than the net asset value, meaning that the shares trade at a discount.’
      • ‘The currency then traded freely for the first time in a decade and has since lost around 70% of its value.’
      • ‘The dollar's attempted strong upward thrust was for now largely rebuffed in volatile currency trading.’
      • ‘People must not be allowed to trade on price sensitive confidential information, where others are, on the other side of those share trades, are inevitably disadvantaged.’
  • 2[with object] Exchange (something) for something else, typically as a commercial transaction.

    ‘they trade mud-shark livers for fish oil’
    ‘the hostages were traded for arms’
    • ‘She sent her children to live in a crackhouse where drugs were traded for guns.’
    • ‘It is both a needed reminder and a adept demonstration that watching courtship treated as a noble game is still quite rewarding even in times where romance is traded for expediency.’
    • ‘The cod was traded for slaves who were brought to Jamaica and in turn sold for tobacco, salt and sugar.’
    • ‘There is also an interesting scene in which a girl is traded for a mule, and no one feels particularly slighted!’
    • ‘A large number of furs were traded for an even larger number of European trade goods.’
    • ‘Small crafts made by some of the women and older men were traded for as well.’
    • ‘Let's begin pondering briefly a primitive barter economy where goods are traded for goods.’
    • ‘Now practically abandoned, salt was once traded for gold, ivory and slaves from deepest Africa.’
    • ‘Money is also traded for material goods, but if you think about it, those goods also represent work.’
    • ‘The Chinese traded silk in exchange for pet dogs along the Great Wall of China.’
    • ‘There were hundreds, if not thousands, of megalitres being traded for one slab of beer.’
    • ‘His father was in jail and his mother, evicted from her home and apparently involved with drugs, left him with a relative at a home where stolen weapons were traded for drugs.’
    • ‘Money made trade enormously more fluid by replacing barter (trading one good for another) with a single unit of exchange that could be traded for any good.’
    • ‘Indeed, a queen's cloak, red linen, and entire sets of garb were traded for land.’
    • ‘Copper, horses, and cloth were also traded for gold, malagueta pepper, carved ivory, and ebony.’
    • ‘Prisoners may trade antituberculosis drugs, to be saved for later use or to be traded for goods or services or to pay off debts.’
    • ‘Jobs and positions were typically traded for political support.’
    • ‘Sexual exploitation is also widespread in humanitarian crises, where sex is often traded for food rations, safe passage and for access to basic goods.’
    swap, exchange, switch, barter, substitute, replace
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Give and receive (something, typically insults or blows)
      ‘they traded a few punches’
      • ‘We fought without mercy as well as trading insults.’
      • ‘The two pugilists traded blows early on, and seemed fairly evenly matched.’
      • ‘Trained up for the purpose and in pairs sworn to die together, only members of the leading classes would do battle, after trading insults and accompanied by musical instruments playing.’
      • ‘They spent the next little while trading creative insults, the result being that Ellen was reduced to giggling and chuckling constantly.’
      • ‘I watched in amazement as the two combatants traded blows and then there was a flash of lightening that dazzled my eyes.’
      • ‘Reputations have been attacked, insults traded, legal action threatened.’
      • ‘When two men become involved in a brawl and start trading blows and punches and kicks and so forth, how does the law of provocation relate to that circumstance?’
      • ‘Rival groups jostled for space and traded insults, but there were no arrests.’
      • ‘They would charge at each other, trade a few useless blows, and then back out of range of the other's strike.’
      • ‘As soon as the scrum broke up it was all in, punches traded, insults thrown and another lecture from the referee.’
      • ‘In brief instances when they collided, one could see them attacking with outrageously fast kicks and punches, either trading blows are blocking blows.’
      • ‘The man I met and traded insults with on that summer afternoon has been depicted as rude, abrasive, hostile and unpredictable by many writers and would-be experts over the years.’
      • ‘The crack of willow on leather was replaced by the thud of fists on jaws as drunken spectators traded blows when players came off the pitch.’
      • ‘Strong language has been used, insults have been traded, attacks have been personalised and bitterness is made visible.’
      • ‘Visitors to the interactive exhibition can perform in front of the tough panel with the judges delivering their verdicts, more often than not trading insults among themselves.’
      • ‘I'm quite interested in political debate, but there's a difference between debate and trading insults.’
      • ‘So far at least, he has escaped the disdain which eventually greets any great champion who keeps trading punches well past his prime.’
      • ‘The pair had been expected to trade insults and vitriol at their post-match press conference following an acrimonious second session on Friday.’
      • ‘They traded blows, insults, and annoyed mutters for several long minutes.’
      • ‘Both players traded blows in the middle of the field behind the back of the referee but in full view of both linesmen.’
    2. 2.2North American Transfer (a player) to another club or team.
      • ‘He knows that rarely - if ever - can a team trade a franchise player and improve.’
      • ‘He should have been happy to be traded to a contending team after his agent messed up.’
      • ‘He's in the final year of his contract, and the team attempted to trade him before he was injured last June.’
      • ‘The team wants to trade the franchise player and rid itself of his $10.5 rail lion salary cap burden.’
      • ‘Teams are cautious about trading a player who could come back to haunt them.’
      • ‘Luckily, the team does not need to trade players to lose payroll, just let some go.’
      • ‘Starting August 1, players can be traded only if they clear waivers.’
      • ‘Team officials are remaining quiet about the possibility of trading the most prominent player the franchise has had since moving west.’
      • ‘On the other hand, as team president, he has to consider trading those loyal players if it means strengthening his roster.’
      • ‘He remains adamant that he won't restructure his contract to make it easier for the team to trade him.’
      • ‘If they're serious about improving, the Vikings will trade one of those players for defensive help.’
      • ‘Baseball fans who oppose the current system hate it when teams have to hold fire sales or trade away players who are soon to be free agents.’
      • ‘Second of all, he wasn't the type of leader you'd expect from a player a team traded its entire draft for.’
      • ‘The team was willing to trade one first-round selection, but not both.’
      • ‘On the flip side, in many leagues you also can pick up players who are traded to your league.’
      • ‘As you can see, there are a variety of harrowing issues that take place off the ice when a player is traded from one team to another and must travel from one city to another.’
      • ‘A player might be traded, which could be disruptive, but he still will have the same job at the same pay - just somewhere else.’
      • ‘When players are traded, sometimes they take shots at their former team.’
      • ‘Before a regularly scheduled game has a player ever been traded from the home team to the visiting team or vice versa?’
      • ‘The gut-wrenching thing about the Red Sox is they traded their most beloved player and then the team took off and started winning.’


  • trade places

    • Change places.

      • ‘And they both thought the other had the cushiest deal in the world, so we traded places with them.’
      • ‘Without trading places with her, one can only imagine the courage and confidence it took.’
      • ‘If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?’
      • ‘Later I traded places with my colleague in the dugout.’
      • ‘I'll never forget that one of my friends in elementary school said that if he could trade places with one person, he'd trade places with me because of my parents and home life.’
      • ‘When my husband and I traded places and he assumed the majority of childcare responsibilities while I went to work full time, there were, predictably, adjustments to be made.’
      • ‘Do you think she wants to trade places with anyone?’
      • ‘Hilda knew the attack would be coming and in a blinding split second, both had traded places, seemingly without moving.’
      • ‘The larger theme is how Democrats and Republicans have traded places when it comes to pragmatism.’
      • ‘No matter what you think of being the only, oldest, middle or youngest, you can't trade places.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • trade down (or up)

    • Sell something in order to buy something similar but less (or more) expensive.

      • ‘But given the limited living space in many modern houses and apartments, as well as the expense of extending or trading up, it is becoming a more practical option for many home owners.’
      • ‘However, older users have not been left out - they are also being encouraged to trade up to more expensive phones too!’
      • ‘There has been a definite trend towards premium branding, with consumers trading up to upmarket foods.’
      • ‘The recent rise in house prices has also been fueled to some degree by existing homeowners trading up to bigger and more expensive homes.’
      • ‘At just $1 more than the most expensive manual brushes, they figured many consumers would trade up.’
      • ‘This is fine for people who want to sell up and trade down in the market, but is frustrating for home owners who want to move up the housing ladder.’
      • ‘Some homeowners have even traded down from more expensive abodes to less pricey dwellings.’
      • ‘First-time buyers were drawn by the two and three-bedroom townhouses while many of the larger three-beds were sold to couples trading up.’
      • ‘Fancy selling your home and trading up to a larger, plusher pad in the near future?’
      • ‘People who are trading up will also probably have a decent deposit and a track record in managing a mortgage.’
  • trade something in

    • Exchange a used article in part payment for another.

      ‘she traded in her Ford for a BMW’
      • ‘Is it still okay to complain about how hard it is to find a reliable mechanic for your Jag, or should we all be trading them in for used Saturns?’
      • ‘With this in mind, the vehicle values are not realistic because James would not be able to get $23,000 from selling them or trading them in.’
      • ‘We could trade it in for a sum not dissimilar for trading your car in or we can keep that and send it out.’
      • ‘When it comes to trading in greenbacks for hardbacks, large bookstore chains win the gold.’
      • ‘In many cases, however, they pay for themselves by increasing the value of the machine when it comes time to trade it in or sell it.’
      • ‘Some sites run currency exchanges where players can take their platinum pieces and trade them in for real dollars or the game currency of another virtual world.’
      • ‘The British know about these and probably have a deal with them to keep these weapons until they can be traded in for cash in exchange for information.’
      • ‘It'd better stay that way, too, because if one should turn up in my stocking I shall trade it in for a waistcoat when we get to London, see if I don't.’
      • ‘But the sting in the tail is that you will have to find a final payment of £3,750, or trade your car in for a new one.’
      • ‘This upsurge brought more used cars on to the market as older cars were traded in.’
  • trade something off

    • Exchange something of value, especially as part of a compromise.

      ‘the government traded off economic advantages for political gains’
      • ‘I traded it off for a 4 inch gun and I wish I had it back.’
      • ‘They come and they take the pins that I get because I'm smart enough to get more than one of each country so I can trade them off.’
      • ‘What perhaps is more important are the abstruse figures, the figures that show that working conditions were traded off to earn the actual monetary income.’
      • ‘He soon found for his use the recoil was excessive and the gun too heavy to carry comfortably all day, so he traded it off for another 4-inch barreled .44 Special.’
      • ‘But there is no way of ranking these many goods or trading them off against one another, so there is not always, all things considered, a best thing to do.’
      • ‘Years ago I had one of these, a short-shroud variation, and foolishly traded it off.’
      • ‘I played the game for about a week before trading it off for something more to my liking.’
      • ‘Once I grew my eyebrows back and my sight and hearing started to return, I promptly traded it off for a beat-up 1918 production Government model.’
      • ‘Traumatised employees and relatively small financial losses are traded off against the greater expense of added security and extended care for staff.’
      • ‘Who would disagree that understanding risks in order to trade them off against potential benefits is a prerequisite for citizens or patients who need to make health decisions?’
  • trade on

    • Take advantage of (something), especially in an unfair way.

      ‘the government is trading on fears of inflation’
      • ‘I think it is trading on people's weaknesses and will lead to more and more depravity.’
      • ‘He is only trying to get you to feel sorry for him, trading on the grief and despair of others.’
      • ‘They are also accused of trading on cultural stereotypes and of lacking any real substance.’
      • ‘They do this by trading on a phenomenon once neatly summarised by the great economist JK Galbraith.’
      • ‘There is no excuse for foot-dragging, no excuse for trading on the patience of his party, the country or his successor.’
      • ‘He may be trading on past glories but he can still fetch a good price for them.’
      • ‘It was a small company trading on the small capitalisation market of the NASDAQ Index.’
      • ‘A mainstream show, trading on sex and violence, but without an ounce of nudity or edginess.’
      • ‘She has now concluded that the Gallery used her, trading on the publicity she generates wherever she goes but never intending her to win.’
      • ‘But trading on his strong economic background, he doesn't have to work as hard to win over his audience.’
      exploit, take advantage of, capitalize on, profit from, use, make use of
      milk, abuse, misuse
      cash in on
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (as a noun): from Middle Low German, literally track; related to tread. Early senses included course, way of life which gave rise in the 16th century to habitual practice of an occupation skilled handicraft. The current verb senses date from the late 16th century.