A bazaar (from Persian بازار (bāzār), meaning "market"; from Middle Persian بهاچار (bahā-chār), meaning "place of prices") is a permanent enclosed merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. (A souq, by contrast, is an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter.) The term is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers and craftsmen" who work that area. Although the current meaning of the word is believed to have originated in Persia, its use has spread and now has been accepted into the vernacular in countries around the world. The rise of large bazaars and stock trading centers in the Muslim World allowed the creation of new capitals and eventually new empires. New and wealthy cities such as Isfahan, Golconda, Samarkand, Cairo, Baghdad, and Timbuktu were founded along trade routes and bazaars.
Its name in other languages includes Arabic and Urdu: بازار, Albanian, Serbian and Turkish: pazar, Bengali: বাজার, Bulgarian and Macedonian: пазар, Cypriot Greek: pantopoula, Greek: παζάρι (pazari), Hindi: बज़ार्, Hungarian: vásár (Persian influence around the 7th-8th century, meaning regular market, but also special occasion markets, such as Karácsonyi Vásár ("Christmas Market") and bazár (Turkish influence around the 16th-17th century, meaning Oriental-style market or shop), Indonesian and Malay: pasar, Polish: bazar, Russian: базар and Uzbek: bozor.
In North America and the United Kingdom, the term can be used as a synonym for a "rummage sale", to describe charity fundraising events held by churches or other community organizations, in which donated used goods (such as books, clothes, and household items) are sold for low prices, or else the goods may be new and handcrafted (or home-baked), as at a church's Christmas bazaar.