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

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 The problem is in part the cruel refusal of the Republican Party to negotiate a new stimulus package, which would include hundreds of millions of dollars in support for local governments. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, "Voting Trump Out Is Not Enough," 9 Nov. 2020 Whether the different factions of organized labor at the California Capitol share a willingness to negotiate, or can agree to what exactly a deal would entail, remains unclear. Taryn Luna Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "After winning Prop. 22, Lyft president says he still wants a deal with unions," 5 Nov. 2020 Bottom from left: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Capitol Hill after meeting with members of Congress to negotiate a virus relief package this summer. Louie Palu, Washington Post, "Pandemic Politics," 2 Nov. 2020 Pelosi, Mnuchin clash publicly after failing to seal stimulus deal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clashed publicly on Thursday after failing to negotiate a new coronavirus relief package. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "The daily business briefing: October 30, 2020," 30 Oct. 2020 Congressional Democrats and the White House continue to negotiate another economic-relief package, which could restore some of the jobless benefits that lapsed in August, though prospects have dimmed for a deal before the election. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Pandemic Aid Swelled Savings of the Unemployed, Study Shows. Now They Are Running Low.," 16 Oct. 2020 In their letter, Wisconsin officials stressed their willingness to negotiate a new aid package that would be commensurate with Foxconn's new, less ambitious plans. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Wisconsin blames Foxconn, says $3 billion factory deal is off," 13 Oct. 2020 The White House and congressional Democrats are trying to negotiate another economic relief package, with talks continuing Thursday. Author: Eli Rosenberg, Anchorage Daily News, "Layoffs continue as US jobless claims remain high," 2 Oct. 2020 Congress failed to negotiate a legislative package, though, and the benefits lapsed. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Republican states lead effort to grant jobless benefit boost through Trump executive action," 4 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for negotiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of negotiate was circa 1598

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiate. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for negotiate

negotiate

verb
How to pronounce negotiate (audio) How to pronounce negotiate (audio)

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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