late 14c., "path, track, course of action," introduced by the Hanse merchants, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German trade "track, course" (probably originally of a ship), cognate with Old English tredan (see tread (v.)).
Sense of "one's habitual business" (1540s) developed from the notion of "way, course, manner of life" (mid-15c.); sense of "buying and selling, exchange of commodities" is from 1550s. Meaning "act of trading" is from 1829. Trade-name is from 1821; trade-route is from 1873; trade-war is from 1899. Trade union is attested from 1831. Trade wind (1640s) has nothing to do with commerce, but preserves the obsolete sense of "in a habitual or regular course."
"offset (an expenditure) against an income," 1909, from expense (n.). Related: Expensed; expensing.
also formerly expence, late 14c., "action of spending or giving away, a laying out or expending," also "funds provided for expenses, expense money; damage or loss from any cause," from Anglo-French expense, Old French espense "money provided for expenses," from Late Latin expensa "disbursement, outlay, expense," noun use of neuter plural past participle of Latin expendere "weigh out money, pay down," from ex "out, out of" (see ex-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). For the financial sense of the Latin verb, see pound (n.1).
Latin spensa also yielded Medieval Latin spe(n)sa, the sense of which specialized to "outlay for provisions," then "provisions, food" before it was borrowed into Old High German as spisa and became the root of German Speise "food," now mostly meaning prepared food, and speisen "to eat." Expense account is from 1872.
1540s, "to tread a path," from trade (n.). Meaning "to occupy oneself (in something)" is recorded from c. 1600. Meaning "to barter" is by 1793. The U.S. sports team sense of "to exchange one player for another" is attested from 1899. Related: Traded; trading. To trade down is attested from 1942; trade up from 1959. Trade places "exchange situations" is from 1917. Trading post is recorded from 1796. Trading stamp, given by merchants and exchangeable for goods, is from 1897.
"of pertaining to, or characteristic of a parasite," in any sense, 1620s, from Latin parasiticus, from Greek parasitikos "of or pertaining to a parasite; the trade of a parasite," from parasitos "one who lives at another's expense" (see parasite). Biological sense is from 1731. Related: Parasitical, 1570s in reference to toadies; from 1640s in the biological sense.
"pertaining to expense," c. 1600, from Latin sumptuarius "relating to expenses," from sumptus "expense, cost," from sumere "to borrow, buy, spend, eat, drink, consume, employ, take, take up," contraction of *sub-emere, from sub "under" (see sub-) + emere "to take, buy" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute").