1. The buying and selling of goods, especially on a large scale, as between cities or nations. See Synonyms at business.
2. Intellectual exchange or social interaction.
3. Sexual intercourse.
[French, from Old French, from Latin commercium : com-, com- + merx, merc-, merchandise.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.