negotiate

verb
ne·​go·​ti·​ate | \ ni-ˈgō-shē-ˌāt , nonstandard -sē- \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from negotiate

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

Synonyms for negotiate

Synonyms

arrange, bargain, concert, conclude

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Late December and early January strikes had been postponed while the trade unions involved—the GMB and Public and Commercial Services (PCS)—tried to negotiate with the Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Beefeaters Continue to Strike at the Tower of London," 22 Jan. 2019 Republican leaders say Democrats have to negotiate with Trump to end the shutdown. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Trump’s approval rating drops to Charlottesville levels during shutdown," 27 Dec. 2018 One key reason is having the ability to negotiate with the owner over the price or duration of your stay. Adam Schubak, Country Living, "The Best Tips For Affordable Trips and Travel on Any Budget," 19 Dec. 2018 Always shop the sales, and don't be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson. Amy Roberts, Good Housekeeping, "The Definitive Guide to Buying a Mattress," 14 Nov. 2018 According to a report from Bloomberg, executives from Bird have been negotiating with the UK’s Department for Transport and London’s city authorities on this matter since last year. James Vincent, The Verge, "Bird launches electric scooter pilot in London as part of ongoing European drive," 6 Nov. 2018 The magazine is famous for its celebrity photoshoots and profiles, which Recode Media guest host Lydia Polgreen (the editor in chief of HuffPost) pointed out require negotiating with those celebs for access. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Vanity Fair helped create ‘the celebrity industrial complex.’ VF Editor Radhika Jones wants to investigate it.," 4 Oct. 2018 The government is holding 103 children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents, but Department of Justice lawyers have been negotiating with the judge to carve out exceptions. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Trump administration reunites 57 immigrant children with parents after missing court-imposed deadline," 12 July 2018 West wonders if the airport can negotiate with airlines — particularly those carrying cargo, not passengers — to change flight schedules. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "For some in Anchorage, it’s been the summer of airplane noise. But just wait until next year.," 10 July 2018

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about negotiate

Listen to Our Podcast about negotiate

Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for negotiate

The first known use of negotiate was circa 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \
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 \ noun
negotiator \ ni-​ˈgō-​shē-​ˌā-​tər \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on negotiate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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