noun (1)
dick·​er | \ ˈdi-kər How to pronounce dicker (audio) \

Definition of dicker

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the number or quantity of 10 especially of hides or skins


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

Definition of dicker (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: bargain dickered over the price


noun (2)

Definition of dicker (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : barter
2 : an act or session of bargaining

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Examples of dicker in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of dicker

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above


1797, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dicker

Noun (1)

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


origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dicker

Listen to Our Podcast about dicker

Statistics for dicker

Time Traveler for dicker

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dicker



English Language Learners Definition of dicker

chiefly US : to talk or argue with someone about the conditions of a purchase, agreement, or contract
dick·​er | \ ˈdi-kər\
dickered; dickering

Legal Definition of dicker

: to seek to arrive at a workable and agreeable arrangement by negotiating and haggling

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dicker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dicker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dicker

Spanish Central: Translation of dicker

Nglish: Translation of dicker for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dicker

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!