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

Photo: Agnes Dherbeys for The Wall Street Journal Later, after violent clashes broke out in Paris, the French government tried to negotiate with the yellow vests, but struggled to find any leaders. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "After Confronting Macron, France’s Yellow Vest Movement Turns on Itself," 23 Feb. 2019 The paper also noted that Audi was working to negotiate with South Korean battery supplier LG Chem, which wants to boost prices because of high demand. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Audi’s E-tron SUV will be delayed due to regulatory approval over a software update," 21 Oct. 2018 Credibility in negotiating trade terms is absolutely critical. Erik Wasson / Bloomberg, Time, "Senate Approves Symbolic Resolution in Attempt to Curb President Trump's Mounting Tariffs," 11 July 2018 The first two follow women negotiating motherhood and an affair, respectively; the latter centers on what is essentially a perverted stay-at-home dad. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "Sci-Fi Invades Netflix—as They Both Invade Your Home," 9 July 2018 For once, Aunt Lydia does something good in negotiating for Offred to return to the Waterford house. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: 15 Reactions to 'Postpartum'," 4 July 2018 Contract terms were not disclosed, but all rookie salaries are predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, as negotiated between the league and the players' union. Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bearcats' Jacob Evans III signs with NBA champion Golden State Warriors," 2 July 2018 Doug Pack and Sam Hansen of Avison Young negotiated the lease for landlord Medistar Corp. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Greenway-area office tower finds anchor tenant," 11 July 2018 With that in mind, McClendon helped negotiate Aspire’s move from DeSales to Holy Cross. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville ties run deep as Aspire Academy enters second year in city," 28 June 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

19 May 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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