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English Wikipedia has an article on:
a grocery


From French grosserie (wholesale).[1] Compare gross.



grocery (plural groceries)

  1. (usually in the plural) Retail foodstuffs and other household supplies.
    Synonyms: commodities, general goods, groceries, packaged goods
    • 1776: Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
      Where ten thousand pounds can be employed in the grocery trade, the wages of the grocer's labour make but a very trifling addition...
    • 1850, Thomas Carlyle, Latter-Day Pamphlets: The present time:
      Did not cotton spin itself, beef grow, and groceries and spiceries come in from the East and the West, quite comfortably by the side of shams?
  2. A shop or store that sells groceries; a grocery store.
    Synonyms: general store, greengrocer's, grocer's, grocery shop, grocery store, market, supermarket
    • 1854: Henry David Thoreau, Walden
      I observed that the vitals of the village were the grocery, the bar-room, the post-office, and the bank...

Usage notes[edit]

When referring to goods, the singular form is primarily used attributively, as in a grocery bill, a grocery list, etc. The plural form, groceries, is much more frequently used to refer to the goods themselves, rather than to multiple stores that sell them, especially in the U.S. Furthermore, a single grocery item (purchased at the store) cannot be called a grocery (that is, the word groceries is a plurale tantum in that sense, albeit not in its "multiple stores" sense).

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



grocery (third-person singular simple present groceries, present participle grocerying, simple past and past participle groceried)

  1. (intransitive) To go grocery shopping.
    • 1913, George Lee Burton, Tackling Matrimony: To the Men and Girls who Love Each Other More than Ease and Show and Sham[1]:
      We shopped and groceried on a cash basis, determined on that from the start.
    • 1967, The New Yorker[2], volume 43, number 5, page 210:
      The thought of grocerying so casually at Seessel's evokes a giggle from Shirley
    • 2012, Hazel Rae Minnick, Living in My Shadow[3], page 93:
      I was dependent upon others for grocerying and getting to doctor appointments.
    • [2016 July 19, “The word of the week: grocerying”, in[4]:
      Sample usage: "If you're going grocerying, pick up some GMO — you know, Goat's Milk, Organic. But it has to be non-GMO GMO."]
  2. (transitive) To furnish with groceries.
    • 1939, John Willy, Hotel Monthly[5], volume 47, number 550, page 59:
      Fifty-eight years of grocerying hotels, restaurants and institutions that feed many people
    • 1998, Ron Rau, “Doing It for Money”, in David Seybold, editor, Seasons of the Angler: A Fisherman's Anthology, page 95:
      What freedom to be iced, fueled, and groceried for two weeks and running toward a reef you truly love