• (America) IPA: /kəˈmɑdəti/
  • (RP) IPA: /kəˈmɒdəti/


  1. Anything movable (a good) that is bought and sold. [from 15th c.]
    • 1995, James G. Carrier, Gifts and Commodities: Exchange and Western Capitalism Since 1700, p.122 ↗
      If a key part of shopping is the conversion of anonymous commodities into possessions, shopping is a cultural as much as an economic activity.
    • 2001, Rachel Pain, Introducing Social Geographies, p.26 ↗
      In human geography "commodities" usually refers to goods and services which are bought and sold. The simplest commodities are those produced by the production system just before they are sold.
    • 2005, William Leiss, Botterill, Jacki, Social Communication in Advertising: Consumption in the Mediated Marketplace, p.307 ↗
      • Referring to the work of Bourdieu, Zukin (2004,38) notes that shopping is much more than the purchase of commodities
  2. Something useful or valuable. [from 15th c.]
    • 2008, Jan. 14th, Somerset County Gazette
      And Slade said: "It really makes me sad that football club chairmen and boards seem to have lost that most precious commodity - patience. "Sam's sacking at Newcastle had, I suppose, been on the cards for a while, but it is really ridiculous to fire a manager after such a short time.
  3. (economics) Raw materials, agricultural and other primary products as objects of large-scale trading in specialized exchanges.
    The price of crude oil is determined in continuous trading between professional players in World's many commodities exchanges.
  4. (marketing) Undifferentiated goods characterized by a low profit margin, as distinguished from branded products.
    Although they were once in the forefront of consumer electronics, the calculators have become a mere commodity.
  5. (Marxism) Anything which has both a use-value and an exchange-value.
  6. (obsolete) Convenience; usefulness, suitability. [15th-19th c.]
  7. (obsolete) Self-interest; personal convenience or advantage. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 40, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Shall we employ the intelligence Heaven hath bestowed upon us for our greatest good, to our ruine? repugning natures desseign and the universal order and vicissitude of things, which implieth that every man should use his instruments and meanes for his owne commoditie?
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , NYRB, 2001, vol.1, p.321:
      they commonly respect their own ends, commodity is the steer of all their action […].
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Rohstoff, Verbrauchsgut, Konsumware
  • Italian: materia prima
  • Portuguese: commodity
  • Spanish: materia prima
  • French: bien de consommation courante
  • German: Billigware, Massenware

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