July 23, 2012
- vend (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to offer for sale (as in a vending machine) : sell
- How do you use it?
- "The place was crowded with people grouped about little tables. . . . Little boys, in the costumes of French chefs, paraded up and down the irregular aisles vending fancy cakes." (Stephen Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets)
- Are you a word wiz?
The word "vend" has another meaning that has nothing to do with selling something. Which of the following do you think it is?We hope you were sold on answer D. "Vend" was first used in the early 1600s to mean "to change hands through selling" (as in "a product that vends well"), and later more simply "to sell." It soon gained a figurative meaning of "to utter publicly" or "to put forward," as a person might try to "sell" an idea. This second meaning is far less common than the literal "sell" sense, which also appears as part of a number of other words. You've likely used a "vending machine," for example, and you may know that a "vendor" is someone who sells something.