American English

Definition of traffic noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1the vehicles that are on a road at a particular time heavy/rush-hour traffic local/through traffic There's always a lot of traffic at this time of day. They were stuck in traffic and missed their flight. a plan to reduce traffic congestion traffic police/cops (= who control traffic on a road or stop drivers who are breaking the law) The delay is due simply to the volume of traffic. We got used to the constant noise of the traffic. Topic CollocationsDrivinghaving a car have/own a car ride a motorcycle/moped/scooter drive/use/prefer an automatic/a manual/a stick shift have/get your car fixed/repaired/looked at buy/sell a used car take/pass/fail a driver's test/road test/knowledge test get/obtain/have/lose/carry a/your driver's license/learner's permitdriving put on/fasten/buckle/wear/undo your seat belt put/turn/leave the key in the ignition start the car/engine change/shift gears shift/put the car into gear/neutral/drive/park press/put your foot on the brake pedal/clutch/accelerator release the clutch/the emergency brake/the parking brake drive/park/reverse the car signal that you are turning left/right take/miss the turn apply/hit/slam on the brake(s) beep/honk your hornproblems and accidents a car skids/crashes (into something)/collides (with something) swerve to avoid an oncoming car/a pedestrian crash/lose control of the car have/be in/be killed in/survive a (car) crash/a (car) wreck/an accident/a hit-and-run be run over/hit by a car/bus/truck dent/hit the hood/trunk/door/side panel/bumper/fender break/crack/shatter the windshield blow/puncture a tire get/have a flat tire inflate/change/replace/check a tiretraffic and driving regulations be caught in/get stuck in/sit in a traffic jam cause congestion/traffic jams/gridlock/backups experience/face lengthy delays beat/avoid the traffic/the rush hour exceed/observe/drive the speed limit be caught by a speed camera stop somebody for/pull somebody over for speeding (informal) run a red light/the lights be arrested for/charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) be banned from driving have your license suspended/taken away/ (informal) pulled
  2. 2the movement of ships, trains, aircraft, etc. along a particular route transatlantic traffic air traffic control
  3. 3the movement of people or goods from one place to another commuter/freight/passenger traffic the traffic of goods between one country and another
  4. 4the movement of messages and signals through an electronic communication system the computer servers that manage global Internet traffic Telecom operators have upgraded their networks to improve their capacity as data traffic increases.
  5. 5traffic (in something) illegal trade in something the traffic in firearms
noun a drug trafficker
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noun [uncountable] drug trafficking
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: traffic