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

And second, if any problems are uncovered, the companies and the space agency will have to negotiate means of fixing them. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA concerned about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX," 20 Nov. 2018 Everything was a trial by fire — Romero quickly learned how to write grant proposals to help fund projects, act as her own publicist, and negotiate contracts. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Community Activist Who Dresses to Celebrate Her Heritage," 10 July 2018 Debbie, in addition to channelling some of her anger into her bouts as Liberty Belle, redirects her energy toward her professional ambitions, negotiating a raise and a promotion to producer. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Love Story of Debbie and Ruth," 10 July 2018 The doctors negotiated for an IV bag and that was all paid for through funding from SAMS. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Advocate humanitarian award, scholarship fund spotlight Christ Hospital's medical relief work," 4 July 2018 The Texas Research and Technology Foundation and apartment developer NRP Group are negotiating with the state of Texas to redevelop the G.J. Sutton complex on the near East Side. Richard Webner, San Antonio Express-News, "Foundation, developer may rehab East Side’s historic Sutton complex," 29 June 2018 Stanton negotiated her first investment—a $10,000 stake in Lowercase Capital, Chris Sacca’s venture firm. Jo Piazza, Marie Claire, "Hatched at Twitter," 12 Feb. 2019 The new order came so suddenly that there was no international law to cover it, and until new treaties were negotiated, the government faced a losing fight at times. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Rewind: What Guarding Uncle Sam's Borders Was Like in 1925," 11 Feb. 2019 Ahead of the summit in Singapore, North Korean officials sometimes did not turn up to meetings where their U.S. counterparts were expecting them, causing tension between the two negotiating partners. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "North Korean officials no-show for meeting about U.S. troop remains," 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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Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

7 Apr 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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