the sale of goods in quantity, as to retailers or jobbers, for resale (opposed to retail ).
of, pertaining to, or engaged in sale by wholesale.
extensive; broadly indiscriminate: wholesale discharge of workers.
in a wholesale way; on wholesale terms: I can get it for you wholesale.
in large quantities; on a large scale, especially without discrimination: Wild horses were slaughtered wholesale.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), wholesaled, wholesaling.
to sell by wholesale.

1375–1425; late Middle English, from the phrase by hole sale in gross; see whole, sale

wholesaler, noun

3. far-reaching, comprehensive, thorough, inclusive; undiscriminating, promiscuous.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wholesale (ˈhəʊlˌseɪl)
1.  Compare retail the business of selling goods to retailers in larger quantities than they are sold to final consumers but in smaller quantities than they are purchased from manufacturers
2.  at wholesale
 a.  in large quantities
 b.  at wholesale prices
3.  of, relating to, or engaged in such business
4.  made, done, etc, on a large scale or without discrimination
5.  on a large scale or without discrimination
6.  to sell (goods) at wholesale

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.1417, "in large quantities," from whole + sale; the general sense of "extensive" is attested from 1642.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

wholesale definition

The sale of merchandise to retailers rather than directly to the public.

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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Example sentences
Under current law, wineries are limited to sales at fairs and festivals, unless they go through a liquor wholesaler.
Then that gets sold to a wholesaler, who sells it as something else to a supplement company, who sells it to the consumer.
Situs of purchases for wholesaler subject to tax based on purchases.
Wholesaler-distributors are essential to the efficient performance of our economy.
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