AskDefine | Define marketplace

Dictionary Definition



1 the world of commercial activity where goods and services are bought and sold; "without competition there would be no market"; "they were driven from the marketplace" [syn: market]
2 an area in a town where a public mercantile establishment is set up [syn: mart]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. An open area in a town housing a public market.
  2. The space, actual or metaphorical, in which a market operates.
  3. In the context of "by extension": The world of commerce and trade.

Related terms


open area in a town housing a public market
  • German: Marktplatz
  • Hungarian: piactér, vásártér
space, actual or metaphorical, in which a market operates
the world of commerce and trade

Extensive Definition

A marketplace is the space, actual or metaphorical, in which a market operates. The term is also used in a trademark law context to denote the actual consumer environment, ie. the 'real world' in which products and services are provided and consumed.

Marketplaces and street markets

A marketplace is a location where goods and services are exchanged. The traditional market square is a city square where traders set up stalls and buyers browse the merchandise. This kind of market is very old, and countless such markets are still in operation around the whole world.
  • In the USA such markets fell out of favor, but renewed interest in local food has caused the reinvention of this type of market, called farmers' markets, in many towns and cities.
  • In continental Europe, especially in France and Britain, street markets, as well as "marketplaces" (covered places where merchants have stalls, but not entire stores) are commonplace. Both resellers and producers sell their wares to the public.
  • Markets are often temporary, with stalls only present for one or two days a week ("market days"), however some (such as Camden Market in London, UK) are open every day of the week. Such markets are normally specialist—the various stalls of Camden Market, along with the shops associated with it, sell a variety of alternative lifestyle products ranging from clothes and jewellery to CDs, instruments and furniture. An example of a large market is Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok.
  • Some large markets have become permanent institutions comparable to shopping malls. One example is the huge Seventh-Kilometer Market near Odessa, Ukraine.
The Roman term for market, still in use in a related sense, is forum. The modern shopping mall can be seen as an extension of this concept.

Wholesale markets

A wholesale market is a market which primarily sells to traders such as caterers and small shopkeepers, rather than to members of the public, although members of the public are not necessarily excluded. London, England has several centuries old wholesale markets such as Smithfield Market and Billingsgate Fish Market.

Internet Marketplaces

The growing prevalence of internet access has enabled new markets to emerge online. Perhaps best known among these marketplaces is eBay, an enormous globally available auction house for products. The internet has also allowed less common marketplaces to thrive by connecting buyers and sellers from disparate locations. The formation of online marketplaces often occur quickly in response to social or economic trends.

See also

marketplace in Italian: Marketplace
marketplace in Norwegian: Torg
marketplace in Polish: Targ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

agora, amphitheater, arena, athletic field, auditorium, auto show, background, bazaar, bear garden, boat show, bowl, boxing ring, bull ring, campo, campus, canvas, circus, cockpit, coliseum, colosseum, commercial complex, course, emporium, exposition, fair, field, flea fair, flea market, floor, forum, ground, gym, gymnasium, hall, hippodrome, lists, locale, market, market cross, market overt, mart, mat, milieu, open forum, open market, palaestra, parade ground, piazza, pit, place, platform, plaza, precinct, prize ring, public square, purlieu, range, rialto, ring, scene, scene of action, scenery, setting, shopping center, shopping mall, shopping plaza, show, site, sphere, square, squared circle, stadium, stage, stage set, stage setting, staple, street market, terrain, theater, tilting ground, tiltyard, trade fair, walk, wrestling ring
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