a person who buys and sells commodities for profit; dealer; trader.
a storekeeper; retailer: a local merchant who owns a store on Main Street.
Chiefly British. a wholesaler.
pertaining to or used for trade or commerce: a merchant ship.
pertaining to the merchant marine.
Steelmaking. (of bars and ingots) of standard shape or size.

1250–1300; Middle English marchant < Old French marcheant < Vulgar Latin *mercātant- (stem of *mercātāns), present participle of *mercātāre, frequentative of Latin mercārī to trade, derivative of merx goods

merchantlike, adjective
outmerchant, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
merchant (ˈmɜːtʃənt)
1.  a person engaged in the purchase and sale of commodities for profit, esp on international markets; trader
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) a person engaged in retail trade
3.  (esp in historical contexts) any trader
4.  derogatory a person dealing or involved in something undesirable: a gossip merchant
5.  (modifier)
 a.  of the merchant navy: a merchant sailor
 b.  of or concerned with trade: a merchant ship
6.  (tr) to conduct trade in; deal in
[C13: from Old French, probably from Vulgar Latin mercātāre (unattested), from Latin mercārī to trade, from merx goods, wares]

Merchant (ˈmɜːtʃənt)
Ismail (ˈɪzmeɪəl). 1936--2005, Indian film producer, noted for his collaboration with James Ivory on such films as Shakespeare Wallah (1965), The Europeans (1979), A Room with a View (1986), The Remains of the Day (1993), and The Golden Bowl (2000)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, from Anglo-Fr. marchaunt (O.Fr. marcheant, Fr. marchand), from V.L. *mercatantem (nom. *mercatans) "a buyer," prp. of *mercatare, freq. of L. mercari "to trade" (see market).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Merchant definition

The Hebrew word so rendered is from a root meaning "to travel about," "to migrate," and hence "a traveller." In the East, in ancient times, merchants travelled about with their merchandise from place to place (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18), and carried on their trade mainly by bartering (Gen. 37:28; 39:1). After the Hebrews became settled in Palestine they began to engage in commercial pursuits, which gradually expanded (49:13; Deut. 33:18; Judg. 5:17), till in the time of Solomon they are found in the chief marts of the world (1 Kings 9:26; 10:11, 26, 28; 22:48; 2 Chr. 1:16; 9:10, 21). After Solomon's time their trade with foreign nations began to decline. After the Exile it again expanded into wider foreign relations, because now the Jews were scattered in many lands.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Wealthy factory owners and merchants built grand mansions and helped fund even
  grander churches.
If you're a typical consumer, your electronic mailbox has been sinking under a
  steady stream of offers from on-line merchants.
In those early years, brokers and merchants refused to buy war rugs with overt
  designs for fear they would put off buyers.
We support our local merchants who in turn provide us with many festivals and
  events to attend annually.
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