mid-13c., marchaundise, "trading, commerce, action or business of buying and selling goods or commodities for profit;" mid-14c., "commodities of commerce; wares, movable objects, and articles for sale or trade," from Anglo-French marchaundise, Old French marcheandise "goods, merchandise; trade, business" (12c.), from marchaunt "merchant" (see merchant). The plural had become obsolete in English by late 19c.
also merchandiser, "a dealer in merchandise," 1590s, agent noun from merchandize (v.).
"dealer in small wares or merchandise of any sort," also, specifically, "dealer in textiles or clothes of any sort, especially silk," c. 1200 (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French mercier "shopkeeper, tradesman," from Vulgar Latin *merciarius, from Latin merx "wares, merchandise" (see market (n.)). Related: Mercery.
Old English dælere "divider, distributor; agent, negotiator," agent noun from deal (v.). Meaning "player who passes out the cards in a game" is from c. 1600; meaning "one whose business is to buy and sell merchandise" is from 1610s. Meaning "purveyor of illegal drugs" is recorded by 1920.
"written account of the particulars and prices of merchandise shipped or sent," 1550s, apparently from a re-Latinized form of French envois, plural of envoi "dispatch (of goods)," literally "a sending," from envoyer "to send," from Vulgar Latin *inviare "send on one's way," from Latin in "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + via "road" (see via (adv.)). As a verb, 1690s, from the noun.