dicker

1 of 3

noun (1)

dick·​er ˈdi-kər How to pronounce dicker (audio)
: the number or quantity of 10 especially of hides or skins

dicker

2 of 3

verb

dickered; dickering ˈdi-k(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce dicker (audio)

intransitive verb

: bargain
dickered over the price

dicker

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: barter
2
: an act or session of bargaining

Did you know?

Etymologists aren't exactly sure of the origins of the verb dicker; however, there is a probability that it arose from the bartering of animal hides on the American frontier. The basis of that theory is founded on the noun dicker, which in English can refer to a quantity of ten hides. That word is derived from decuria, the Latin word for a bundle of ten hides, and ultimately from Latin decem, meaning "ten" (to learn why the month December comes from the Latin word decem, click here). In ancient Rome, a decuria became a unit of bartering. The word entered Middle English as dyker and eventually evolved to dicker. It has been posited that the verb emerged from the bargaining between traders over dickers of hides, but not all etymologists are sold on that idea.

Example Sentences

Verb I tried to dicker for a discounted price. they dickered over the price of the car for a few minutes

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English dyker, from Latin decuria quantity of ten, from decem ten — more at ten

Verb

origin unknown

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1797, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dicker was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dicker

Cite this Entry

“Dicker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dicker. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

dicker

verb
dick·​er
ˈdik-ər
dickered; dickering
ˈdik-(ə-)riŋ
dicker noun

Legal Definition

dicker

intransitive verb
dick·​er
ˈdi-kər
dickered; dickering
: to seek to arrive at a workable and agreeable arrangement by negotiating and haggling

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