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 negotiate (audio) , nonstandard  -​sē-​ \ noun
negotiatory \ ni-​ˈgō-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce negotiate (audio) , nonstandard  -​sē-​ How to pronounce negotiate (audio) \ 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 Throughout his career, Mr. Urquhart advocated a view that U.N. peacemakers should negotiate with any influential parties, no matter how unsavory. Washington Post, "Brian Urquhart, a foundational leader at the United Nations, dies at 101," 3 Jan. 2021 How Black women negotiate power in traditionally white arenas, and at what cost, is something that resonates far beyond Balmoral. New York Times, "11 Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward to in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 Providers and insurers must negotiate acceptable payment for out-of-network doctor, hospital and air ambulance bills incurred during emergency care. Nerdwallet, chicagotribune.com, "Second stimulus check details: What the new COVID-19 relief package means for your money," 23 Dec. 2020 Providers and insurers must negotiate acceptable payment for out-of-network doctor, hospital and air ambulance bills incurred during emergency care. Nerdwallet, chicagotribune.com, "Second stimulus check details: What the new COVID-19 relief package means for your money," 23 Dec. 2020 No Dungeness crab for Christmas as Bay Area fishing fleets negotiate for higher wholesale prices. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: California’s new senator is a familiar face," 23 Dec. 2020 Providers and insurers must negotiate acceptable payment for out-of-network doctor, hospital and air ambulance bills incurred during emergency care. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "Breaking down what’s in second stimulus package: who gets what?," 22 Dec. 2020 After quickly passing nearly $3 trillion in aid in the spring, Republicans and Democrats struggled for months to negotiate another package, with talks at several points breaking down. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Congress Reaches Final Agreement on Pandemic Relief," 21 Dec. 2020 So now, free from ties to a particular promoter, Alvarez can negotiate with everyone. John Whisler, ExpressNews.com, "Canelo Alvarez faces tall order in fight vs. Callum Smith," 18 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for negotiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of negotiate was circa 1598

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for negotiate

negotiate

verb
How to pronounce negotiate (audio) How to pronounce negotiate (audio)

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 negotiate (audio) \ noun
negotiator \ ni-​ˈgō-​shē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce negotiate (audio) \ noun

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Comments on negotiate

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