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

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Other Words from negotiate

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

In a statement, Stephen Wogen, CareCentrix’s chief growth officer, said insurers may agree to pay higher prices for some services, while negotiating lower prices for others, to achieve better overall value. Marshall Allen, Ars Technica, "You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true," 21 Nov. 2018 According to Good Jobs First, the haste with which deals were negotiated out of the public eye isn’t uncommon. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 subsidies are deeply unpopular, but far from uncommon," 14 Nov. 2018 Beyond the task of negotiating with their colleagues across the aisle, Democrats will have to deal with an unstable entity: President Donald Trump. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "It’s official: Democrats will control the House," 7 Nov. 2018 Trump has never liked negotiating the details of policy or overseeing the nuts and bolts of governance. Ezra Klein, Vox, "To beat Trump, House Democrats need to fight on policy, not just scandals," 12 Nov. 2018 Sources say that Kelly is still negotiating her exit package from NBC which could amount to tens of millions of dollars. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "NBC Cancels Megyn Kelly’s Morning Show Following Blackface Controversy," 26 Oct. 2018 Crises mean chance for negotiated concessions for North Korea. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Doesn’t Want a No-Fly Zone Over the Korean DMZ. Here’s Why.," 18 Oct. 2018 Financial terms of the deal still being negotiated have been described as tense. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "SoftBank has a lot to worry about if it strikes this deal with WeWork," 10 Oct. 2018 Earlier this year it was revealed by The Hollywood Reporter that Pompeo had negotiated an impressive salary for staying on the show. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen Pompeo Just Revealed When Grey’s Anatomy Might End, and It's Sooner Than You Think," 23 Sep. 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.

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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

1 Dec 2018

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 \
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

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Comments on negotiate

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