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1. Chiefly British A peddler.
2. Archaic A dealer or merchant.

[Middle English, from Old English cēapman : cēap, trade; see cheap + man, mann, man; see man.]


n, pl -men
(Historical Terms) archaic a trader, esp an itinerant pedlar
[Old English cēapman, from cēap buying and selling (see cheap)]
ˈchapmanˌship n


(Biography) George 1559–1634, English dramatist and poet, noted for his translation of Homer


(ˈtʃæp mən)

n., pl. -men.
2. Archaic. merchant.
[before 900; cēapman (cēap trading); see cheap]


(ˈtʃæp mən)

1. George, 1559–1634, English poet, playwright, and translator.
2. John, Appleseed, Johnny.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Chapman - United States pioneer who planted apple trees as he traveled (1774-1845)
2.chapman - archaic term for an itinerant peddler
hawker, packman, peddler, pedlar, pitchman - someone who travels about selling his wares (as on the streets or at carnivals)
References in classic literature ?
But the gains of bargains, are of a more doubtful nature; when men shall wait upon others' necessity, broke by servants and instruments to draw them on, put off others cunningly, that would be better chapmen, and the like practices, which are crafty and naught.
This article examines a little-studied aspect of Scottish reading history: chapmen who sold cheap print to Scots in the past, both in towns and in the country.
From a historical research perspective, chapmen and their customers are extremely difficult to trace.
Yet chapmen were vital for many people's access to books and reading, both for carrying print trade into the countryside in particular, and for selling low-cost books to people.
To date relatively little research has been done into Scottish chapmen and their history, probably mainly due to their relative invisibility in surviving historical records.
Margaret Spufford has written usefully about chapmen in seventeenth-century England, and--to a much lesser extent--Scotland at the same time.
Perhaps most illuminating for this paper's interest in the link between chapmen and their role in the provision of books is the piece by John Morris on Scottish chapmen, particularly in the nineteenth century, documenting the nature of their trade, the ways in which they operated, including their trading at traditional Scottish fairs, and the type of goods they sold.
This paper examines the role of chapmen in the wider context of Scottish reading and book history, including estimating their numbers and distribution throughout the country.
Unlike John Morris's piece, the focus here is on the late eighteenth century, an era of rapid growth in Scottish print culture and as a result wider reading habits, where the role of chapmen alongside more established booksellers deserves further focused study.