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an open place or a covered building where buyers and sellers convene for the sale of goods; a :
a farmers’ market.
a store for the sale of food:
a meat market.
a meeting of people for selling and buying.
the assemblage of people at such a meeting.
trade or traffic, especially as regards a particular commodity:
the market in cotton.
a body of persons carrying on extensive transactions in a specified commodity:
the cotton market.
the field of trade or business:
the best shoes in the market.
demand for a commodity:
an unprecedented market for leather.
a body of existing or potential buyers for specific goods or services:
the health-food market.
a region in which goods and services are bought, sold, or used:
the foreign market; the New England market.
current price or value:
a rising market for shoes.
to buy or sell in a market; deal.
to buy food and provisions for the home.
to carry or send to market for disposal:
to market produce every week.
to dispose of in a market; sell.
at the market, at the prevailing price in the open market.
in the market for, ready to buy; interested in buying:
I’m in the market for a new car.
on the market, for sale; available:
Fresh asparagus will be on the market this week.
Contemporary Examples

This could become a classic example of government failure, where too much intervention can cause the market to stop functioning.
Socialized Medicine Works for the Military Christopher Brownfield August 18, 2009

Well, Simon said, “when the benefits expanded, our market share actually went down.”
Food Stamp Cuts Add to Walmart’s Troubles Daniel Gross November 1, 2013

If you are in the market to buy, “Your art budget is somewhere between your grocery budget and your savings budget,” he says.
Aces High: Where to Buy Affordable Art Justin Jones February 14, 2014

The market has never managed to replace the society around it.
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Live In: Kevin Baker’s New York Allen Barra September 22, 2013

Everything does their own thing for their own publication and they all have to market their business in their own way.
Jessica Alba on ‘Sin City,’ Typecasting, and How Homophobia Pushed Her Away From the Church Marlow Stern August 17, 2014

Historical Examples

The prince and his companions also played in the market square.
Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa Elphinstone Dayrell

All the same he is one of the most dangerous men on the market at the present in town.
The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume

He would have, say, 40 cattle, of which 15 would come into market each year.
Two Years in Oregon Wallis Nash

It is threshed out by hand or machinery after it is dried, and then it is ready for market.
Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic

“The world’s market for the country that can and should supply it,” he replied.
The Man in the Twilight Ridgwell Cullum


an event or occasion, usually held at regular intervals, at which people meet for the purpose of buying and selling merchandise
(as modifier): market day

a place, such as an open space in a town, at which a market is held
a shop that sells a particular merchandise: an antique market
the market, business or trade in a commodity as specified: the sugar market
the trading or selling opportunities provided by a particular group of people: the foreign market
demand for a particular product or commodity: there is no market for furs here
See stock market
See market price, market value
at market, at the current price
be in the market for, to wish to buy or acquire
on the market, available for purchase
play the market

to speculate on a stock exchange
to act aggressively or unscrupulously in one’s own commercial interests

buyer’s market, a market characterized by excess supply and thus favourable to buyers
seller’s market, a market characterized by excess demand and thus favourable to sellers
verb -kets, -keting, -keted
(transitive) to offer or produce for sale
(intransitive) to buy or deal in a market

early 12c., “a meeting at a fixed time for buying and selling livestock and provisions,” from Old North French market “marketplace, trade, commerce” (Old French marchiet, Modern French marché), from Latin mercatus “trading, buying and selling, trade, market” (source of Italian mercato, Spanish mercado, Dutch markt, German Markt), from past participle of mercari “to trade, deal in, buy,” from merx (genitive mercis) “wares, merchandise,” from Italic root *merk-, possibly from Etruscan, referring to various aspects of economics. Meaning “public building or space where markets are held” first attested mid-13c. Sense of “sales, as controlled by supply and demand” is from 1680s. Market value (1690s) first attested in writings of John Locke. Market economy is from 1948; market research is from 1921.

1630s, from market (n.). Related: Marketed; marketing.

Related Terms

gray market, meat market, slave market

corner the market
drug on the market
flea market
in the market for
on the market
play the market
price out of the market


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