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verb ne·go·ti·ate \ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt, ÷-sē-\

Simple Definition of negotiate

  • : to discuss something formally in order to make an agreement

  • : to agree on (something) by formally discussing it

  • : to get over, through, or around (something) successfully

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of negotiate



  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 a :  to deal with (some matter or affair that requires ability for its successful handling) :  manage b :  to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise <negotiate a treaty>

  5. 2 a :  to transfer (as a bill of exchange) to another by delivery or endorsement b :  to convert into cash or the equivalent value <negotiate a check>

  6. 3 a :  to successfully travel along or over <negotiate a turn> b :  complete, accomplish <negotiate the trip in two hours>


play \-ˌā-tər\ noun


play \-sh(ē-)ə-ˌtȯr-ē, ÷-sē-\ adjective

Examples of negotiate in a sentence

  1. The customer wanted to negotiate over the price.

  2. She has good negotiating skills.

  3. We negotiated a fair price.

  4. The driver carefully negotiated the winding road.

Did You Know?

For the first 250 years of its life, "negotiate" had meanings that hewed pretty close to its Latin root, negotiari, meaning "to carry on business." Around the middle of the 19th century, though, it developed the meaning "to successfully travel along or over." Although this sense was criticized in the New York Sun in 1906 as a "barbarism creeping into the language," and Fowler's 1926 A Dictionary of Modern English Usage declared that any writer who used it was "literally a barbarian," it has thrived. The Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage claimed in both its 1975 and 1985 editions that it is "considered inappropriate in formal speech and writing," but our evidence does not show that there is anything particularly informal about its use.

Origin and Etymology of negotiate

Latin negotiatus, past participle of negotiari to carry on business, from negotium business, from neg- not + otium leisure — more at negate

First Known Use: 1599

Rhymes with negotiate

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate

NEGOTIATE Defined for Kids


verb ne·go·ti·ate \ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of negotiate for Students



  1. 1 :  to have a discussion with another in order to settle something <We are willing to negotiate with the enemy for peace.>

  2. 2 :  to arrange for by discussing <I'm trying to negotiate a loan.>

  3. 3 :  to be successful in getting around, through, or over <Keep your hands on the steering wheel to negotiate a turn.>


\-ˌā-tər\ noun

Law Dictionary


verb ne·go·ti·ate \ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt\

Legal Definition of negotiate



  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to confer with another so as to settle some matter

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to bring about through conference, discussion, and agreement or compromise <negotiate a contract>

  5. 2a :  to transfer (as an instrument) to another by delivery or endorsement b :  to convert into cash or the equivalent value <negotiate a check>


\ni-ˌgō-shē-ˈā-shən\ play noun


\ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌā-tər\ play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up negotiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of fear that causes hesitation

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