ne·​go·​tia·​ble | \ni-ˈgō-sh(ē-)ə-bəl \

Definition of negotiable 

: capable of being negotiated: such as

a : transferable from one person to another by being delivered with or without endorsement (see endorse sense 1d) so that the title passes to the transferee (see transferee sense 1) negotiable securities

b : capable of being traversed, dealt with, or accomplished a difficult but negotiable road some kind of agreement was negotiable

c : open to discussion or dispute The terms of the contract are negotiable. The price was not negotiable.

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Other Words from negotiable

negotiability \ni-​ˌgō-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

Examples of negotiable in a Sentence

The terms of the contract are negotiable. The price was not negotiable. a rough but negotiable road
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Recent Examples on the Web

The requests, some of which appeared to be negotiable, capped a whirlwind day of back-and-forth statements on Thursday. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Hearing in limbo as Kavanaugh's accuser sets her terms; Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen meets with Mueller," 21 Sep. 2018 Sheriff Rowles, who is white, said plainly, nodding his head to emphasize this truth was not negotiable. New York Times, "In Texas, a Decades-Old Hate Crime, Forgiven but Never Forgotten," 9 July 2018 Now the signs are that Mrs. May has accepted that this policy isn’t negotiable and is preparing to soften her red lines. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Britain’s Brexit Dilemma: Should It Compromise, or Confront the EU?," 4 July 2018 Presidents in the past -- the Iran deal is the perfect example -- where presidents say, these are non-negotiable points. Fox News, "Ari Fleischer: Trump wanted a trade war, he's getting one," 3 July 2018 Trump has rendered many policy positions negotiable — even with himself — and has turned a Republican Party that was all about conservative purity earlier this decade into one that is more about Trump purity. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The all-consuming tribalism of Trump’s Republican Party, in one 30-second ad," 3 Apr. 2018 Wrapping is, in my opinion, non-negotiable with oaks and Chinese pistachios for their first 18 months in their new settings. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "What’s the story with morning glories not blooming?," 29 June 2018 So most agents will lay out the facts to their clients, with some level of confidence that the fines will be negotiable in the end. Albert Breer,, "For Andrew Luck, It All Re-Starts Here," 18 June 2018 WASHINGTON POST Costs are negotiable Kim’s 3,600-square-foot presidential suite at the St. Regis goes for about $8,000 a night., "A long wait in steamy city for glimpse at history in making," 10 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negotiable.' 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 negotiable

1758, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for negotiable

negoti(ate) + -able, perhaps after French négociable

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for negotiable

The first known use of negotiable was in 1758

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More Definitions for negotiable



Financial Definition of negotiable

What It Is

Negotiable refers to an item that can be sold or transferred to another party as a form of unconditional payment. Negotiable also means that the terms of an agreement can be adjusted.

How It Works

A negotiable check given to one person can then be endorsed and may be used as a payment to a third party. Also, certain types of commercial paper securities or bonds may be negotiable (they may be signed by the bearer of the bonds and redeemed).  The right to payment through a negotiable instrument, such as a currency or endorsed checks is determined based on possession.

According to the United States Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), an item is negotiable if it meets the following criteria:  the promise to pay must be unconditional; the payment must be for a specific sum; payment must be made on demand; no further performance by any party is needed; and payment must be to the bearer of the negotiable instrument.
In terms of an agreement, the parties may be negotiating the terms of a contract or the scope of a project.   For example, a proposal for work by a contractor at a certain fee may be negotiable.  That is, the contractor may be willing to do more work or lower the price.  A contract is usually negotiable until it is executed.

Why It Matters

Once a negotiable instrument is given to another party, it is payable unconditionally. Possession governs in almost every way; it is the functional equivalent to cash. On a balance sheet, negotiable instruments are classified as "cash or its equivalents."  Under the US UCC regulations, letters of credit, bills of lading, most securities, deeds, and IOUs are not negotiable.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of negotiable

: able to be discussed and changed before an agreement or decision is made

: able to be successfully traveled over

finance : able to be passed from one person to another in return for something of equal value


ne·​go·​tia·​ble | \ni-ˈgō-shə-bəl \

Kids Definition of negotiable

1 : able to be discussed in order to reach an agreement a negotiable price

2 : able to be successfully dealt with or traveled over negotiable roads

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ne·​go·​tia·​ble | \ni-ˈgō-shə-bəl \

Legal Definition of negotiable 

: capable of being negotiated especially : transferable from one party to another by delivery with or without endorsement so that title passes to the transferee negotiable securities a negotiable certificate of deposit — see also negotiable instrument

Other Words from negotiable

negotiability \ni-​ˌgō-​shə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun

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