Definition of negotiate
- Teachers are negotiating for higher salaries.
- negotiated his business deals with remarkable skill
- negotiate a treaty
- negotiate a check
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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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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.
First Known Use: circa 1598See Words from the same year
: 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
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