1 a wholesale trader, esp. with foreign countries.
2 esp. US & Sc. a retail trader.
3 colloq. usu. derog. a person showing a partiality for a specified activity or practice (speed merchant).
Phrases and idioms:
merchant bank esp. Brit. a bank dealing in commercial loans and finance. merchant banker a member of a merchant bank. merchant marine US = merchant navy. merchant navy a nation's commercial shipping. merchant prince a wealthy merchant. merchant ship = MERCHANTMAN.
Etymology: ME f. OF marchand, marchant ult. f. L mercari trade f. merx mercis merchandise
Useful english dictionary. 2012.