Etymology: Middle English, from Middle Low German; akin to Old High German trata track, course, Old English tredan to tread
Date: 14th century
a. obsolete a path traversed ; way
b. archaic a track or trail left by a person or animal ; tread 1
2. a customary course of action ; practice <thy sin's not accidental, but a trade — Shakespeare> 3. a. the business or work in which one engages regularly ; occupation b. an occupation requiring manual or mechanical skill ; craft c. the persons engaged in an occupation, business, or industry 4. a. obsolete dealings between persons or groups b. (1) the business of buying and selling or bartering commodities ; commerce (2) business, market <novelties for the tourist trade> <did a good trade in small appliances> 5. a. an act or instance of trading ; transaction; also an exchange of property usually without use of money b. a firm's customers ; clientele c. the group of firms engaged in a business or industry 6. trade wind — usually used in plural 7. a publication intended for persons in the entertainment business — usually used in plural Synonyms: see business II. verb (traded; trading) Date: 1553 intransitive verb 1. obsolete to have dealings ; negotiate 2. a. to engage in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods b. to make one's purchases ; shop <trades at his store> 3. to give one thing in exchange for another 4. sell 3 transitive verb 1. archaic to do business with 2. a. to give in exchange for another commodity ; barter; also to make an exchange of <traded places> b. to engage in frequent buying and selling of (as stocks or commodities) usually in search of quick profits • tradable also tradeable adjective III. adjective Date: 1633 1. of, relating to, or used in trade 2. a. intended for or limited to persons in a business or industry <a trade publication> <trade sales> b. serving others in the same business rather than the ultimate user or consumer <a trade printing house> 3. (also trades) of, composed of, or representing the trades or trade unions <a trade committee> 4. having a larger softcover format than that of a mass-market paperback and usually sold only in bookstores <trade paperbacks>; also of or relating to the publishing of such books
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.