\ ˈdēl How to pronounce deal (audio) \
dealt\ ˈdelt How to pronounce deal (audio) \; dealing\ ˈdē-​liŋ How to pronounce deal (audio) \

Definition of deal

 (Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to concern oneself or itself The book deals with education. a lawyer who deals with real estate law
2a : to take action with regard to someone or something deal with an offender Who's going to deal with this mess?
b : to reach or try to reach a state of acceptance or reconcilement trying to deal with her son's death
3 card games : to distribute the cards to players your turn to deal
4 business
a : to sell or distribute something as a business deal in insurance
b : to engage in bargaining : trade

transitive verb

1a card games : to distribute (playing cards) to players Deal the cards.
b : to give as one's portion : apportion dealt out three sandwiches apiece a judge dealing out punishments
2 : administer, deliver dealt him a blow
3 business
a : sell deals drugs
b : trade deal a player to another team


noun (1)

Definition of deal (Entry 2 of 4)

1 business
a : an act of dealing (see deal entry 1 sense 4) : transaction big corporate deals a real estate deal
b : contract sense 1a signed a 2-year deal
c : bargain got a great deal on a new TV accepted a plea deal
2 : an arrangement for mutual advantage kept his side of the deal
3 : treatment received a dirty deal
4 : situation, story What is the deal with that guy? tried to figure out her deal
5 : mccoy used in the phrase the real deal
6 : affair sense 2 Dinner was an informal deal.


noun (2)

Definition of deal (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a usually large or indefinite quantity or degree a great deal of support a good deal faster
2 card games
a : the act or right of distributing cards to players It's your deal.
b : hand sense 7b have time for one more deal
3 obsolete : part, portion


noun (3)

Definition of deal (Entry 4 of 4)

1 British : a board of fir or pine
2 : pine or fir wood

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Other Words from deal


dealer \ ˈdē-​lər How to pronounce deal (audio) \ noun

Noun (3)

deal adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for deal


distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts. distributed food to the needy dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need. dispensed wisdom to the students divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal. three charitable groups divided the proceeds deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece. deal out equipment and supplies dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply. doled out what little food there was

Examples of deal in a Sentence

Verb It's your turn to deal. Each player is dealt five cards. She was dealt a full house. dealing out the cards for a game of poker The offending players were dealt harsh penalties. She got caught dealing drugs in school. See More

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First Known Use of deal


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deal

Noun (2), Verb, and Noun (1)

Middle English deel, from Old English dǣl; akin to Old English dāl division, portion, Old High German teil part

Noun (3)

Middle English dele, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German, plank; akin to Old High German dili plank — more at thill

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Time Traveler for deal

Time Traveler

The first known use of deal was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near deal



deal a blow

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Statistics for deal

Cite this Entry

“Deal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for deal


\ ˈdēl How to pronounce deal (audio) \

Kids Definition of deal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an indefinite amount It means a great deal to me.
2 : a person's turn to pass out the cards in a card game


dealt\ ˈdelt \; dealing\ ˈdē-​liŋ \

Kids Definition of deal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to give out as a person's share It's your turn to deal the cards. The judge dealt out justice to all.
2 : give entry 1 sense 8, administer "… he has done mischief; and blows must be dealt now."— Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
3 : to have to do This book deals with airplanes.
4 : to take action The sheriff dealt with the outlaws.
5 : to buy and sell regularly : trade deals cars

Other Words from deal

dealer \ ˈdē-​lər \ noun



Kids Definition of deal (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : an agreement to do business We made a deal to trade baseball cards.
2 : treatment received We got a bad deal from the ref.
3 : an arrangement that is good for everyone involved The two sides agreed on a deal to end the dispute.


dealt; dealing

Legal Definition of deal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to carry on the business of buying or especially selling (something) dealing drugs

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in bargaining
2 : to sell or distribute something as a business or for money dealing in real estate deal in stolen property



Legal Definition of deal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of dealing : a business transaction
2 : an arrangement for mutual advantage (as for a defendant to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution)

More from Merriam-Webster on deal

Nglish: Translation of deal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deal for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about deal


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