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

Washington and Seoul are currently negotiating over how costs will be split from 2019. Time, "Inside Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base," 13 July 2018 In the meantime, Lilis has negotiated deals to ship its oil on the EPIC Crude Oil Pipeline stretching from the Permian to refining and port hubs in Corpus Christi. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Lilis may be an acquisition target," 13 July 2018 Sport notes that the purpose of the visit was not only to negotiate personal terms, but also to inform PSG of their intention to sign Rabiot. SI.com, "PSG Willing to Sell Adrien Rabiot After Barcelona Agree Personal Terms With Midfielder," 12 July 2018 Two students were killed and at least 10 were injured before top Catholic clergy were able to negotiate their release on Saturday morning and escort the surviving students across police lines. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 The justices could force the city to spend many millions retroactively creating pensions for 4,000 employees hired since 2012, or order the city and its unions to negotiate an alternative solution. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 Officers made contact with the suspect, who was armed with a handgun and attempted to negotiate his peaceful surrender. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "NC police shoot man holding Harris Teeter staff hostage during standoff," 13 July 2018 For comparison, 66 percent approved of Trump’s June 12 meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and by a 10-point margin voters expected Trump to negotiate the better deal. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Trump not tough enough on Russia, approval of Mueller down," 13 July 2018 Employees want to be able to negotiate over their working conditions, benefits, wages and safety issues, Erpenbach said. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP leaders say wage increases not on table despite Wisconsin prison overtime costs, staffing shortage," 12 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.

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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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Phrases Related to negotiate

the negotiating table

Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

6 Oct 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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evasion of direct action or statement

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