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 Dictionary entry overview: What does Commerce mean? 

  The noun COMMERCE has 3 senses:

1. transactions (sales and purchases) having the objective of supplying commodities (goods and services)
2. the United States federal department that promotes and administers domestic and foreign trade (including management of the census and the patent office); created in 1913
3. social exchange, especially of opinions, attitudes, etc.

  Familiarity information: COMMERCE used as a noun is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1commerce [BACK TO TOP]


Transactions (sales and purchases) having the objective of supplying commodities (goods and services)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


commerce; commercialism; mercantilism

Hypernyms ("commerce" is a kind of...):

dealing; dealings; transaction (the act of transacting within or between groups (as carrying on commercial activities))

Meronyms (parts of "commerce"):

shipping; transport; transportation (the commercial enterprise of moving goods and materials)


noncommercial (not connected with or engaged in commercial enterprises)

commercial (connected with or engaged in or sponsored by or used in commerce or commercial enterprises)

Domain member category:

shop (do one's shopping)

buy in; stock (stock up on to keep for future use or sale)

market (deal in a market)

market (engage in the commercial promotion, sale, or distribution of)

barter away (trade in in a bartering transaction)

pick up (buy casually or spontaneously)

trust (extend credit to)

broker (act as a broker)

turn over (do business worth a certain amount of money)

market (buy household supplies)

browse; shop (shop around; not necessarily buying)

comparison-shop (compare prices for a given item)

import (bring in from abroad)

trade (be traded at a certain price or under certain conditions)

retail (be sold at the retail level)

franchise (grant a franchise to)

impulse-buy (buy on impulse without proper reflection)

hock; pawn; soak (leave as a guarantee in return for money)

export (sell or transfer abroad)

smuggle (import or export without paying customs duties)

antique (shop for antiques)

arbitrage (practice arbitrage, as in the stock market)

traffic (trade or deal a commodity)

merchandise; trade (engage in the trade of)

sell short (sell securities or commodities or foreign currency that is not actually owned by the seller, who hopes to cover (buy back) the sold items at a lower price and thus to earn a profit)

sell (exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent)

negociate (sell or discount)

turn (get by buying and selling)

clear (sell)

get (purchase)

take (buy, select)

buy; purchase (obtain by purchase; acquire by means of a financial transaction)

commercialise; commercialize; market (make commercial)

usance (the period of time permitted by commercial usage for the payment of a bill of exchange (especially a foreign bill of exchange))

remainder (sell cheaply as remainders)

resell (sell (something) again after having bought it)

deaccession (sell (art works) from a collection, especially in order to raise money for the purchase of other art works)

trade; trade in (turn in as payment or part payment for a purchase)

liquidize; sell out; sell up (get rid of all one's merchandise)

wholesale (sell in large quantities)

retail (sell on the retail market)

deal (sell)

transact (conduct business)

deal; sell; trade (do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood)

auction; auction off; auctioneer (sell at an auction)

realise; realize (convert into cash; of goods and property)

fob off; foist off; palm off (sell as genuine, sell with the intention to deceive)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "commerce"):

trading (buying or selling securities or commodities)

defrayal; defrayment; payment (the act of paying money)

traffic (buying and selling; especially illicit trade)

marketing; merchandising; selling (the exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money)

distribution (the commercial activity of transporting and selling goods from a producer to a consumer)

marketing (the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service)

exportation; exporting (the commercial activity of selling and shipping goods to a foreign country)

importation; importing (the commercial activity of buying and bringing in goods from a foreign country)

carriage trade (trade from upper-class customers)

business; business enterprise; commercial enterprise (the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects)

initial offering; initial public offering; IPO (a corporation's first offer to sell stock to the public)

exchange; interchange (reciprocal transfer of equivalent sums of money especially the currencies of different countries)

e-commerce (commerce conducted electronically (as on the internet))

trade (the commercial exchange (buying and selling on domestic or international markets) of goods and services)

evasion; nonpayment (the deliberate act of failing to pay money)

Sense 2Commerce [BACK TO TOP]


The United States federal department that promotes and administers domestic and foreign trade (including management of the census and the patent office); created in 1913

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects


Commerce Department; Department of Commerce; Commerce; DoC

Hypernyms ("Commerce" is a kind of...):

executive department (a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States)

Meronyms (parts of "Commerce"):

Bureau of the Census; Census Bureau (the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; NOAA (an agency in the Department of Commerce that maps the oceans and conserves their living resources; predicts changes to the earth's environment; provides weather reports and forecasts floods and hurricanes and other natural disasters related to weather)

Technology Administration (an agency in the Department of Commerce that works with United States industries to promote competitiveness and maximize the impact of technology on economic growth)

Patent and Trademark Office Database; Patent Office (the government bureau in the Department of Commerce that keeps a record of patents and trademarks and grants new ones)

Sense 3commerce [BACK TO TOP]


Social exchange, especially of opinions, attitudes, etc.

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("commerce" is a kind of...):

conversation (the use of speech for informal exchange of views or ideas or information etc.)

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