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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 commodity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If I foresee a dearth, may I not keep my commodity till then?

  • He had also a trick to mingle his commodity, that that which was bad might go off with the least mistrust.

    Bunyan James Anthony Froude
  • A commodity is a drug on the market at one dollar, until somebody is willing to pay a dollar and a half for it.

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • Here at Athens there is a dearth of the commodity, and all wisdom seems to have emigrated from us to you.

    Meno Plato
  • Then for the first time it tackled the heart of the matter, in revising the commodity rates in the great cases now under review.

British Dictionary definitions for commodity


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 commodity

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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commodity 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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