Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

negotiate

play
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

negotiated

negotiating

  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>

negotiator

play \-ˌā-tər\ noun

negotiatory

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



NEGOTIATE Defined for Kids

negotiate

play
verb ne·go·ti·ate \ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of negotiate for Students

negotiated

negotiating

  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.>

negotiator

\-ˌā-tər\ noun



Law Dictionary

negotiate

play
verb ne·go·ti·ate \ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt\

Legal Definition of negotiate

negotiated

negotiating

  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>

negotiation

\ni-ˌgō-shē-ˈā-shən\ play noun

negotiator

\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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a very small amount

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate acommadate accomodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ