negotiate

verb
ne·​go·​ti·​ate | \ ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce negotiate (audio) , nonstandard -sē- How to pronounce negotiate (audio) \
negotiated; negotiating

Definition of negotiate

intransitive verb

: to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter Teachers are negotiating for higher salaries.

transitive verb

1a : to deal with (some matter or affair that requires ability for its successful handling) : manage negotiated his business deals with remarkable skill
b : to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise negotiate a treaty
2a : to transfer (something, such as a bill of exchange) to another by delivery or endorsement (see endorse sense 1d)
b : to convert into cash or the equivalent value negotiate a check
3a : to successfully travel along or over negotiate a turn
b : complete, accomplish negotiate the trip in two hours

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Other Words from negotiate

negotiator \ ni-​ˈgō-​shē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce negotiator (audio) , nonstandard  -​sē-​ \ noun
negotiatory \ ni-​ˈgō-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce negotiatory (audio) , nonstandard  -​sē-​ How to pronounce negotiatory (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for negotiate

Synonyms

arrange, bargain, concert, conclude

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The Controversial History of Negotiate

For the first 250 years of its life, negotiate had meanings that hewed pretty closely to its Latin root, negotiari, meaning "to carry on business." Around the middle of the 19th century, though, it developed the meaning "to successfully travel along or over." Although this sense was criticized in the New York Sun in 1906 as a "barbarism creeping into the language," and Henry Fowler's 1926 A Dictionary of Modern English Usage declared that any writer who used it was "literally a barbarian," it has thrived and is now fully established.

Examples of negotiate in a Sentence

The customer wanted to negotiate over the price. She has good negotiating skills. We negotiated a fair price. The driver carefully negotiated the winding road.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Medicare’s prescription drug program farms out its purchasing to private companies and is barred from negotiating directly. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "Trump’s Efforts to Rein In Drug Prices Face Setbacks," 11 July 2019 Drugmakers had favored the rule but it was strongly opposed by pharmacy benefits managers - the middlemen who administer drug benefits for employers and health plans and negotiate rebates with manufacturers. Yasmeen Abutaleb, Anchorage Daily News, "White House kills key drug pricing rule to eliminate hidden rebates," 11 July 2019 Most eminent domain disputes are ultimately settled with a deal negotiated between the landowner and the government or utility in question, Padgitt said. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Bernheim Forest will fight 'uphill battle' to stop LG&E from using land to build pipeline," 11 July 2019 Officers negotiated for several hours with Prieto, who had barricaded himself in a vehicle. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Police identify victim and suspect in Gilbert homicide that led to standoff in Tempe," 10 July 2019 Democrats in the Senate successfully negotiated for legislative amendments last week that created stronger rules for the safety certification process that ties executive pay to safety performance. Taryn Luna, latimes.com, "Wanting to ease utility wildfire costs, Newsom faces biggest test yet with lawmakers," 8 July 2019 Workers said that negotiating a labor contract with Amazon is the only way to force the company to improve their pay, benefits, and working conditions. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Some Amazon warehouse workers are planning to strike on Prime Day," 8 July 2019 This could be addressed by negotiating an arrangement in which richer regional countries and institutions contribute a disproportionate share of their capital contributions up-front. Danny Bradlow, Quartz Africa, "After the free trade agreement, we need to focus on realizing the African Monetary Fund," 6 July 2019 Andy Rubin’s departure from Google has been a sore point for a number of employees at the company — particularly his $90 million severance agreement, negotiated in the wake of numerous harassment complaints. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Android co-founder Andy Rubin accused of cheating wife out of fortune while running a sex ring," 2 July 2019

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

circa 1598, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for negotiate

borrowed from Latin negōtiātus, past participle of negōtiārī "to do business, trade, deal," derivative of negōtium "work, business, difficulty, annoyance," from nec "not" + ōtium "free time, leisure, tranquility," of obscure origin — more at neglect entry 1

Note: The sense "to confer in order to arrive at a settlement" is probably based on Middle French negocier or Italian negoziare, which had developed this sense, not belonging to the Latin source, by the mid-16th century.

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Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for negotiate

The first known use of negotiate was circa 1598

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More Definitions for negotiate

negotiate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of negotiate

: to discuss something formally in order to make an agreement
: to agree on (something) by formally discussing it
: to get over, through, or around (something) successfully

negotiate

verb
ne·​go·​ti·​ate | \ ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce negotiate (audio) \
negotiated; negotiating

Kids Definition of negotiate

1 : to have a discussion with another in order to settle something We are willing to negotiate with the enemy for peace.
2 : to arrange for by discussing I'm trying to negotiate a loan.
3 : to be successful in getting around, through, or over Keep your hands on the steering wheel to negotiate a turn.

Other Words from negotiate

negotiator \ -​ˌā-​tər \ noun

negotiate

verb
ne·​go·​ti·​ate | \ ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce negotiate (audio) \
negotiated; negotiating

Legal Definition of negotiate

intransitive verb

: to confer with another so as to settle some matter

transitive verb

1 : to bring about through conference, discussion, and agreement or compromise negotiate a contract
2a : to transfer (as an instrument) to another by delivery or endorsement
b : to convert into cash or the equivalent value negotiate a check

Other Words from negotiate

negotiation \ ni-​ˌgō-​shē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce negotiation (audio) \ noun
negotiator \ ni-​ˈgō-​shē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce negotiator (audio) \ noun

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Comments on negotiate

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