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[kuh-mod-i-tee] /kəˈmɒd ɪ ti/
noun, plural commodities.
an article of trade or commerce, especially a product as distinguished from a service.
something of use, advantage, or value.
Stock Exchange. any unprocessed or partially processed good, as grain, fruits, and vegetables, or precious metals.
Obsolete. a quantity of goods.
Origin of commodity
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English commodite < Anglo-French < Latin commoditās timeliness, convenience, equivalent to commod(us) (see commode) + -itās -ity
Related forms
noncommodity, adjective, noun, plural noncommodities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for commodities
  • Works of art in college and university museums were never meant to be commodities.
  • In a world of exciting new technologies, stodgy commodities seem old hat.
  • Send commodities chugging across the continent by clicking the designated destination on the map.
  • Flat outdoor areas for sitting, entertaining, and relaxing become precious commodities.
  • So too for toys, gadgets, and commodities of every sort.
  • The commodities markets were generally quiet yesterday.
  • Now let me say a few words on the subject of students as commodities.
  • If it now starts to export commodities and basic goods as well, trade tensions can only worsen.
  • commodities such as fur and timber also earn coveted foreign currency.
  • Different commodities should be discounted at different rates.
British Dictionary definitions for commodities


noun (pl) -ties
an article of commerce
something of use, advantage, or profit
(economics) an exchangeable unit of economic wealth, esp a primary product or raw material
  1. a quantity of goods
  2. convenience or expediency
Word Origin
C14: from Old French commodité, from Latin commoditās suitability, benefit; see commodious
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 commodities



early 15c., "benefit, profit, welfare;" later "a convenient or useful product," from Middle French commodité "benefit, profit," from Latin commoditatem (nominative commoditas) "fitness, adaptation, convenience, advantage," from commodus "suitable, convenient" (see commode). General sense "property possession" is from c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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commodities in Culture

commodity definition

Any product manufactured or grown.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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