Etymology
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merchandize (v.)

also merchandise, late 14c., "to buy and sell, to engage in commerce," from merchandise (v.). The original sense was obsolete by late 19c. Meaning "to promote the sale of goods" is from 1926. Related: Merchandising; merchandizing.

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mercantilism (n.)

"a mercantile spirit or character; devotion (or excess devotion) to trade and commerce," 1834, from French mercantilisme; see mercantile + -ism. By 1881 as "the mercantile system." Related: Mercantilist; mercantilistic.

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merchandizing (n.)

late 14c., marchaundising, "goods, commodities, mercantile business," verbal noun from merchandize (v.). Meaning "trade, commerce" is from mid-15c. That of "promotion of goods for sale, activities meant to stimulate interest in products" is by 1910.

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Hermes 
son of Zeus and Maia in Greek mythology; Olympian messenger and god of commerce, markets, and roads; protector of herdsmen, travelers, and rogues; giver of good luck, god of secret dealings, and conductor of the dead. from Greek Hermes, a word of unknown origin. He was identified by the Romans with their Mercury.
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interstate (adj.)
1838, American English, in reference to traffic in slaves, from inter- "between" + state (n.) in the U.S. sense. Interstate commerce is that carried on by persons in one U.S. state with persons in another. Noun sense of "an interstate highway" is attested by 1975, American English.
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privateer (n.)

1660s, "private man of war, armed vessel owned and officered by private persons, usually acting under commission from the state," from private (adj.), probably on model of volunteer (n.), buccaneer. From 1670s as "one commanding or serving on a privateer." As a verb, 1660s (implied in privateering) "to cruise on a privateer, to seize or annoy an enemy's ships and commerce."

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exchange (v.)

late 15c. (Caxton), in commerce, "to part with in return for some equivalent, transfer for a recompense, barter," from Old French eschangier "exchange, barter" (Modern French échanger), from Vulgar Latin *excambiare (source of Italian scambiare); see exchange (n.). Non-commercial sense of "to give and receive reciprocally" is from c. 1600. Related: Exchanged; exchanging.

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caduceus (n.)

in ancient Greece or Rome, "herald's staff," 1590s, from Latin caduceus, alteration of Doric Greek karykeion "herald's staff," from kēryx (genitive kērykos) "a herald," probably a Pre-Greek word. Token of a peaceful embassy; originally an olive branch. Later especially the wand carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods, usually represented with two serpents twined round it and wings. Related: Caducean.

The caduceus is a symbol of peace and prosperity, and in modern times figures as a symbol of commerce, Mercury being the god of commerce. The rod represents power; the serpents represent wisdom; and the two wings, diligence and activity. [Century Dictionary]

Sometimes used mistakenly as a symbol of medicine by confusion with the Rod ofAsclepius, Greek god of medicine, which also features a serpent entwined about a rod but only a single serpent.

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Hanseatic (adj.)
1610s, from Hanseatic League, medieval confederation of North German towns for the protection of commerce, from Medieval Latin Hanseaticus, from Middle Low German hanse "fellowship, merchants' guild" (see Hanse). Its origin traditionally is dated from the compact between Hamburg and Lübeck in 1241; the assembly last met in 1669. Compare hanshus "guild hall" (12c.).
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barter (v.)
"to traffic or trade by exchanging one commodity for another," mid-15c., apparently from Old French barater "to barter, cheat, deceive, haggle" (also, "to have sexual intercourse"), 12c., which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Celtic language (compare Irish brath "treachery"). Connection between "trading" and "cheating" exists in several languages. Related: Bartered; bartering.

As a noun, "act of exchanging, commerce by exchange of commodities" (rather than buying and selling for money), 1590s, from the verb.
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