mid-12c., "a meeting at a fixed time for buying and selling livestock and provisions," from O.N.Fr. market (O.Fr. marchiet, Fr. marché), from L. mercatus "trading, trade, market" (cf. It. mercato, Sp. mercado), from pp. of mercari "to trade, deal in, buy," from merx (gen. 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. The verb is 1630s, from the noun. Market value (1690s) first attested in writings of John Locke. Market economy is from 1951; market research is from 1926.