barter

verb
bar·​ter | \ ˈbär-tər How to pronounce barter (audio) \
bartered; bartering; barters

Definition of barter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to trade by exchanging one commodity for another : to trade goods or services in exchange for other goods or services farmers bartering for supplies with their crops bartered with the store's owner

transitive verb

: to trade or exchange by or as if by bartering bartering work for food

barter

noun

Definition of barter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or practice of trading goods or services for other goods or services : the act or practice of carrying on trade by bartering
2 : goods or services that are traded for other goods or services : the thing given in exchange in bartering

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Other Words from barter

Verb

barterer \ ˈbär-​tər-​ər How to pronounce barterer (audio) \ noun

Examples of barter in a Sentence

Noun The tribes use a system of barter. The explorers used blankets and other supplies for barter to get food from the native people.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Not much of a veggie gardener, Braun also barters, especially with a friend who grows grade-A ponderosa pink tomatoes. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Mike Braun, the Senate’s mushroom hunter," 4 May 2020 Kids come in and barter with each other — or buy more L.O.L. dolls from the store, of course. Chavie Lieber, New York Times, "How L.O.L. Dolls Became the Dopamine Hit of a Generation," 16 Apr. 2020 Their fellow costar Mario Lopez apparently also wants in on the bartering booze-for-produce business. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Tiffani Thiessen delivers eggs to Saved by the Bell costar Mark-Paul Gosselaar during quarantine," 7 Apr. 2020 Sovalik, a 77-year-old village elder, catches and dries broad whitefish by the Colville River, hanging thick, pink-hued slabs on rafters near the site of a trading post where her nomadic ancestors used to barter for Siberian goods. Anchorage Daily News, "As Alaska warms, one village’s fight over oil development and the future," 14 Dec. 2019 The newest presentation celebrated the not-so-humble cacao bean, which was so valued that it was used as currency and to barter in Mesoamerica. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: Passing down culture and traditions one chocolate at a time," 13 Feb. 2020 The group visited Ashanti craft villages and bartered at the open air Makola Market, where between 6,000 and 8,000 vendors sell everything from food to jewelry to household goods. Lottie Joiner, USA TODAY, "In Ghana's Year of Return, NAACP goes home on behalf of the ancestors," 31 Jan. 2020 He was sentenced to nine months in prison for conspiracy to take migratory birds with intent to sell or barter. Karine Aigner, National Geographic, "Songbirds are being snatched from Miami’s forests," 25 July 2019 My travel companion gave the last of his pesos to two kids bartering quick magic tricks for cash. Alexandria Misch, Los Angeles Times, "Vegan? Sober? Here’s the Tijuana for you," 28 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a historical sense, cities are always organisms of a kind, like coral reefs, where a lot of people come together to barter spices and exchange ideas and find mates, and endure the recurrent damage of infectious disease. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus Crisis Reveals New York at Its Best and Worst," 23 Mar. 2020 Until the shelves are restocked, people will have find other, non-yeast baking projects, grow their own starter, barter for yeast, or just hold out for more. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "The hot grocery item no one can find? Active dry yeast," 25 Mar. 2020 Wholesale decline has continued in rural areas, where barter is now common and food scarce. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Things have changed for Venezuela. But they're not what Juan Guaido hoped for," 21 Jan. 2020 The British, French and German governments created a company, Instex, to carry out a barter-like program with an Iranian counterpart that avoids sanctionable financial flows. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Trump Wields U.S. Economic Might in Struggles With Allies and Adversaries Alike," 17 Jan. 2020 The Europeans have struggled to get a barter system working to circumvent the use of the dollar and US banking systems, adding to Iranian frustration as the US sanctions take a toll on the country. Steven Erlanger, BostonGlobe.com, "France, Germany, and UK serve notice on Iran that it’s violating nuclear deal," 14 Jan. 2020 The Europeans have struggled to get a barter system working to circumvent the use of the dollar and American banking systems, adding to Iranian frustration as the United States sanctions take a toll on the country. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "France, Germany and U.K. Serve Notice on Iran Under Nuclear Deal," 14 Jan. 2020 The result was a growing barter economy, low exports, and asset-stripping, as burgeoning oligarchs bought up state enterprises and then moved their money out of the country. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, "The Collapse of Neoliberalism," 23 Dec. 2019 Few financial experts think INSTEX’s barter system can work effectively to provide Iran with a reliable conduit to sell their oil. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Europe’s Appeasement of Iran Remains a Threat to the West," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of barter

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for barter

Verb

Middle English bartren, from Anglo-French *bareter to do business, exchange, alteration of Old French barater — more at barratry

Noun

Middle English, noun derivative of bartren "to barter entry 1"

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Time Traveler for barter

Time Traveler

The first known use of barter was in the 15th century

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Statistics for barter

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Barter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barter. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for barter

barter

noun

Financial Definition of barter

What It Is

A barter (or bartering) is an exchange between two parties using goods and services for payment instead of currency.

How It Works

The barter system enables two parties to exchange goods or services based on mutually perceived value.

To illustrate, a plumber can fix a baker’s sink, for which the baker would normally have paid $100 for the service. Instead, the baker gives the plumber $100 worth of his baked goods.

Another example would be a photographer agreeing to photograph a dentist's wedding pictures in return for some dental work of equal value.

These transactions do not involve any exchange of currency, however, each party benefits from the transaction.

Why It Matters

People have bartered for goods and services since the dawn of civilization. Historically the barter system has been employed in times of financial crisis when currencies are unstable or when there is no common currency.

In addition, bartering is especially useful for parties that don't have a strong cash position that would normally be used to pay for goods or services.

Source: Investing Answers

barter

verb
How to pronounce barter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of barter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to exchange things (such as products or services) for other things instead of for money

barter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of barter (Entry 2 of 2)

: a system in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods or services instead of for money
: goods or services that are exchanged for other goods or services

barter

verb
bar·​ter | \ ˈbär-tər How to pronounce barter (audio) \
bartered; bartering

Kids Definition of barter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trade by exchanging one thing for another without the use of money

Other Words from barter

barterer \ ˈbär-​tər-​ər \ noun

barter

noun

Kids Definition of barter (Entry 2 of 2)

: the trade of one thing for another

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bar·​ter | \ ˈbär-tər How to pronounce barter (audio) \

Legal Definition of barter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to trade by exchanging one commodity or service for another

transitive verb

: to trade or exchange by or as if by bartering — compare sell

barter

noun

Legal Definition of barter (Entry 2 of 2)

: the art or practice of carrying on trade or exchange by or as if by bartering : exchange of one commodity or service for another — compare sale

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Comments on barter

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