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1. The exchange of goods between two individuals or nations. Trade is the basic component of economic activity and is undertaken for mutual advantage. 2. A type of skill, such as that of a carpenter or a plumber. A trade union was originally an association of workers with similar skills. 3. The process of distribution, for example the motor trade. See also bilateral trade; fair trade; free trade; gains from trade; inter-industry trade; intra-industry trade; invisibles; managed trade; multilateral trade; shuttle trade; terms of trade; trade deficit.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.