- 1[transitive, intransitive, usually passive] traffic (in) somebody to move people illegally, especially in order to make them work in bad conditions without proper payment The women had been trafficked and forced into prostitution. The cartel is now trafficking in illegal immigrants.
- 2[transitive, intransitive] traffic (in) something to buy and sell something illegally Smugglers were trafficking arms across the border to the rebels. to traffic in drugs See related entries: Types of crime Word Origin early 16th cent. (denoting commercial transportation of merchandise or passengers): from French traffique, Spanish tráfico, or Italian traffico, of unknown origin. Sense 1 dates from the early 19th cent.
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪk//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪk//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they traffic
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪk//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪk//he / she / it traffics
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪks//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪks//past simple trafficked
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪkt//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪkt//past participle trafficked
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪkt//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪkt//-ing form trafficking
BrE BrE//ˈtræfɪkɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtræfɪkɪŋ//Types of crime