Legal Definition and Related Resources of Merchant

Meaning of Merchant

One engaged in the business of buying commercial commodities and selling them again for the sake of profit or one whose business is to buy and sell merchandise . One engaged in the purchase and sale of goods ; a trader. He is to be distinguished from a manufacturer who is engaged in making materials, raw or partly finished, into wares suitable for use. The chief distinction is that a merchant sells to earn a profit while a manufacturer sells to take profit already earned.

Merchant Alternative Definition

(Lat. mercator; merx). A man who traffics or carries on trade with foreign countries, or who exports and imports goods, and sells them by wholesale. Webster; Lex. Merc. 23. These are known by the name of “shipping merchants.” See Comyn, Dig.; Dyer, 279b; Bac. Abr. “Merchants,” in the statute of limitations, means not merely those trading beyond sea, as formerly held (1 Chanc. Cas. 152; 1 Watts & S. [Pa.] 469) ; but whether it includes common retail tradesmen, quaere (1 Mod. 238; 4 Scott, N. R. 819; 2 Pars. Cent. 369, 370. See, also, 5 Cranch [U. S.] 15; 6 Pet. [U. S.] 151; 12 Pet. [U. S.] 300; 5 Mason [U. S.] 505). According to an old authority, there are four species of merchants, namely, merchant adventurers, merchants dormant, merchant travelers, and merchant residents. 2 Brownl. 99. See, generally, 9 Salk. 445; Bac. Abr.; Comyn, Dig.; 1 Bl. Comm. 75, 260; 1 Pardessus, Dr. Com. note 78; 2 Show. 326; Bracton, 334. One whose business it is to buy and sell merchandise. This applies to all persons who habitually trade in merchandise. 1 Watts & S. (Pa.) 469; 2 Salk. 445. The term does not include those who buy goods for the purpose of manufacture and subsequent sale. 33 Mo. 424. A commercial traveler is not a merchant (58 Miss. 478), nor is a farmer who raises produce for the market (3 T. B. Mon. [Ky.] 330), nor a speculator in stocks (8 Ben. [U. S.] 663).

Synonyms of Merchant


  • businessperson
  • chandler
  • consigner
  • dealer
  • distributer
  • distributor
  • entrepreneur
  • handler
  • hawker
  • huckster
  • mercator
  • merchandiser
  • middleman
  • monger
  • peddler
  • retailer
  • salesperson
  • seller
  • shopkeeper
  • shopman
  • storekeeper
  • trader
  • tradesperson
  • vendor foreign phrases: 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 Merchant in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Merchant 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.

Merchant in Historical Law

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

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Appointment, Power Of, Charter Party, Chose, Commercial Broker, Convoy, Credit-note, Day-book, Demurrage, Slander Of Property, Stock, Trading Stamps.


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Related topics Merchant in the World Encyclopedia of Law


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

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Hierarchical Display of Merchant

Trade > Distributive trades > Distributive trades

Meaning of Merchant

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Translation of Merchant

Thesaurus of Merchant

Trade > Distributive trades > Distributive trades > Merchant

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