Legal Definition and Related Resources of Commerce

Meaning of Commerce

A term of the widest import comprehending intercourse for the purpose of trade in any and all its forms. It denotes the exchange of merchandise on a large scale between different places or communities. It describes the commercial intercourse between nations, and parts of nations, in all its branches and is regulated by prescribing rules for carrying on that intercourse. It is not traffic alone, although the idea of traffic is inherent in the word commerce. See Blumenstock Bros. Advertising Agency v Curtis Pub. Co., 40 S. Ct. 385,252 U.S. 436, 64 L.Ed. 649. , Also see Gibbons v Ogden, 22 U.S. (9 Wheat.) 1, 6 L.Ed.23.The power to regulate commerce has been conferred by the federal constitution on the Congress and such power may be exercised to its utmost extent, acknowledging no limitations other than those pre-scribed by the Constitution. interstate commerce is the trading and trafficking in commodities between and amongst citizens of different states; the transporting by common carriers of passengers and property of one state into another state; and the selling and buying of commodity or commodities, by a citizen of one state to a citizen of another state, which commodity is to be transported from the state of the seller to the state of the buyer or to another state and there resold or used as may serve the purpose of the buyer. See Howard v Illinois Cent. R. Co., 148 F. 997.

Commerce Alternative Definition

The exchange of property, including the usual agencies of communication and transportation to effect the exchange, and extending to the means employed to move the property involved and the persons making the contract. 223 111. 590. The various agreements which have for their object facilitating the exchange of the products of the earth or the industry of man, with an intent to realize a profit. Pardessus, Dr. Com. note 1. Any reciprocal agreements between two persons, by which one delivers to the other a thing, which the latter accepts, and for which he pays a consideration. If the consideration be money, it is called a “sale;” if any other thing than money, it is called “exchange” or “barter.” Domat, Dr. Pub. liv. 1, tit. 7, § 1, note 2. Congress has power, by the constitution, to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. 1 Kent, Comm. 431; Story, Const. § 1052 et seq. The sense in which the word “commerce” is used in the constitution seems not only to include traffic, but intercourse and , navigation ( Story, Const. § 1057; 9 Wheat. [U.S.] 190, 191, 215, 229; 12 Wheat. [U, S.] 419; 102 U.S. 691; 4 Biss. [U.S.] 156; 31 Iowa, 187), but only such intercourse as consists in trade or traffic (1 Stew. & P. [Ala.] 327).

Synonyms of Commerce


  • interstate commerce
  • bargaining
  • barter
  • bartering
  • business
  • business affairs
  • business deals
  • business intercourse
  • business transactions
  • buying and selling
  • chaffering
  • commercial intercourse
  • commercium
  • dealing
  • exchange
  • fiscal exchange
  • industry
  • industry and trade
  • interchange
  • interchange of commodities
  • interchange of goods
  • intercourse
  • marketing
  • mercantile business
  • mercantile relations
  • mercantilism
  • mercatura
  • merchandising
  • merchantry
  • monetary exchange
  • multilateral trade
  • negotia
  • negotiation
  • private enterprise
  • production and distribution
  • reciprocal trade
  • system of exchanges
  • trade
  • trading
  • traffic
  • traffic of commodities
  • transportation of commodities
  • transportation of goods
  • Associated Concepts: affect commerce
  • affect interstate commerce
  • arising under a law regulating commerce
  • commerce among the several states
  • commerce clause
  • commerce power
  • commerce with foreign nations
  • commercial code
  • commercial paper
  • industry affecting commerce
  • international commerce
  • intrastate commerce
  • law regulating commerce
  • navigation and commerce
  • regulate commerce
  • restraint of commerceforeign phrases: Commercium jure gentium commune esse debet
  • et non in monopolium et privatum paucorum quaestum convertendum
  • Commerce
  • by the law of nations
  • ought to be common
  • and not converted into monopoly and the private gain of a few persons
  • Jus accrescendi inter mercatores
  • pro beneficio commercii
  • locum non habet
  • The right of survivorship does not exist between merchants for the benefit of commerce

Related Entries of Commerce in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Commerce in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Commerce in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Commerce in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Commerce in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Admiralty, Anti-Trust Acts, Articles Of Commerce, Chief Place Of Business, Commerce Clause, Commercial, Commercial Agency, Commercial Law, Commodity, Compete, Competition, Engage, Export, Fair Labor Standards Act, Goods, Interdiction, Interstate Commerce, Lighter, Maritime Contract, Maritime Law, Mercantile, Merchandise, Natural Gas Company, Navigable, Partner, Partnership, Regulate, Share, Tariff, Trade, Traffic.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Commerce in the Dictionary Commerce in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Commerce
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Commerce in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Commerce is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Commerce (more about URIs)

Commerce in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

Latin commercium. In its simplest signification, an exchange of goods; but in the advancement of society, labor, transportation, itelligence, care and various mediums of exchange, become commodities and enter into commerce. Gibbens v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 229 (1824), Marshall, Chief Justice. The interchange or mutual change of goods, productions, or property of any kind, between nations or individuals. People v. Raymond, 84 Cal. 497 (1868).

Note: This legal definition of Commerce in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.


Legal English Vocabulary: Commerce in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term commerce into Spanish: comercio (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus


Commerce in Global Commerce Policy

In this regard, a definition of this issue is as follows: usually, but by no means exclusively, refers to activities related to the production, sale and distribution of goods and services within the internal market. See also trade.[1]

Commercein the wold Encyclopedia

For an introductory overview on international trade policy, see this entry.


Notes and References

  1. Dictionary of Trade Policy, “Commerce” entry (OAS)

See Also


See Also

  • Enterprise
  • Joint Enterprise
  • Joint Venture


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