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[chap-muh n] /ˈtʃæp mən/
noun, plural chapmen.
British. a peddler.
Archaic. a merchant.
Origin of chapman
before 900; Middle English; Old English cēapman (cēap buying and selling + man man1); cognate with Dutch koopman, German Kaufmann; see cheap
Related forms
chapmanship, noun


[chap-muh n] /ˈtʃæp mən/
Frank Michler
[mik-ler] /ˈmɪk lər/ (Show IPA),
1864–1945, U.S. ornithologist, museum curator, and author.
George, 1559–1634, English poet, dramatist, and translator.
3. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chapman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She began to see considerable of the chapman girls, and Madam Royall grew very fond of her.

    A Little Girl in Old Boston Amanda Millie Douglas
  • I bought them from a chapman in Crete, and asked nothing of their first master.

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • chapman's Homer is a noble work, with all its faults; but it is not what Homer should be in English.

  • "It is gold," said the chapman, answering the question in her eyes.

    The Doomsman Van Tassel Sutphen
  • Every inlet of the Pacific is watched, after the fiasco of the chapman.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
British Dictionary definitions for chapman


noun (pl) -men
(archaic) a trader, esp an itinerant pedlar
Derived Forms
chapmanship, noun
Word Origin
Old English cēapman, from cēap buying and selling (see cheap)


George 1559–1634, English dramatist and poet, noted for his translation of Homer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chapman

"peddler, itinerant tradesman," Middle English form of Old English ceapman "tradesman," from West Germanic compound *kaupman- (cf. Old High German choufman, German Kauffman, Middle Dutch and Dutch koopman), formed with equivalents of man (n.) + West Germanic *kaup- (cf. Old Saxon cop, Old Frisian kap "trade, purchase," Middle Dutch coop, Dutch koop "trade, market, bargain," kauf "trader," Old English ceap "barter, business; a purchase"), from Proto-Germanic *kaupoz- (cf. Danish kjøb "purchase, bargain," Old Norse kaup "bargain, pay;" cf. also Old Church Slavonic kupiti "to buy," a Germanic loan-word), probably an early Germanic borrowing from Latin caupo (genitive cauponis) "petty tradesman, huckster," of unknown origin. Cf. also cheap (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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