early 15c., "benefit, profit, welfare;" also "a convenient or useful product," from Old French commodit "benefit, profit" (15c.) and directly from Latin commoditatem (nominative commoditas) "fitness, adaptation, convenience, advantage," from commodus "proper, fit, appropriate, convenient, satisfactory," from com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + modus "measure, manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures").
From early 15c. as "article of merchandise, anything movable of value that can be bought or sold." General sense "property, possession" is from c. 1500.
"action of converting (something) into a commercial product or activity," 1968, from commodity + -fication "a making or causing." Originally in Marxist political theory, "the assignment of a market value," often to some quality or thing that the user of the word feels would be better off without it.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "take appropriate measures."
It forms all or part of: accommodate; accommodation; commode; commodious; commodity; empty; immoderate; immodest; Medea; medical; medicament; medicaster; medicate; medication; medicine; medico; medico-; meditate; meditation; Medusa; meet (adj.) "proper, fitting;" mete (v.) "to allot;" modal; mode; model; moderate; modern; modest; modicum; modify; modular; modulate; module; modulation; mold (n.1) "hollow shape;" mood (n.2) "grammatical form indicating the function of a verb;" must (v.); premeditate; premeditation; remedial; remediation; remedy.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit midiur "I judge, estimate;" Avestan vi-mad- "physician;" Greek mēdomai "be mindful of," medesthai "think about," medein "to rule," medon "ruler;" Latin meditari "think or reflect on, consider," modus "measure, manner," modestus "moderate," modernus "modern," mederi "to heal, give medical attention to, cure;" Irish miduir "judge;" Welsh meddwl "mind, thinking;" Gothic miton, Old English metan "to measure out."
"the act of exporting; that which is exported, a commodity carried from one place or country to another for sale," 1680s, from export (v.).
late 14c., "to furnish with corners; bring to a point by convergence," from corner (n.). Meaning "to turn a corner," as in a race, is from 1860s. Meaning "drive or force (someone) into a corner," also figuratively, "force into a position where defeat or surrender is inevitable," is American English from 1824; commercial sense "monopolize the market supply of a stock or commodity" is from 1836. Related: Cornered; cornering.
early 15c., "one who squanders or wastes," agent noun from consume. In economics, "one who uses up goods or articles, one who destroys the exchangeable value of a commodity by using it" (opposite of producer), from 1745.
Consumer goods is attested from 1890. In U.S., consumer price index calculated since 1919, tracking "changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services" [Bureau of Labor Statistics]; abbreviation CPI is attested by 1971.
As a noun, "act of exchanging, commerce by exchange of commodities" (rather than buying and selling for money), 1590s, from the verb.
"small bag used by sailors for needles, thread, scissors, thimble, etc.," 1828, nautical slang, of uncertain origin, perhaps from the alleged British naval phrase commodity bag. Hence also ditty-box (1841).
Every true man-of-war's man knows how to cut out clothing with as much ease, and producing as correct a fit, as the best tailor. This is a necessity on board ship, for the ready-made clothing procured of the purser is never known to fit, being generally manufactured several sizes larger than necessary, in order that it may be re-cut and made in good style. [Charles Nordhoff, "The Young Man-of-War's Man," 1866]