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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Synonyms for negotiate

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Should Huesca avoid relegation this season and negotiate a deal, there is a chance Mir will stay in La Liga. Henry Flynn, Forbes, "Dembele Lifts Barcelona But Racism Claims Mar Action On La Liga Week 29," 5 Apr. 2021 New York Jets safety Marcus Maye signed his $10.6 million franchise tag tender from the team, leaving both sides until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. BostonGlobe.com, "Free agent WR Kenny Golladay reaches agreement with Giants," 20 Mar. 2021 With no end to the bickering in sight, the Los Angeles meeting offered the last chance to meet the deadline set by the two sides to negotiate a deal before the Korean elections in April 2020. Debasish Roy Chowdhury, Time, "Quad is Key to Biden's Strategy in Asia, But the Four-Way Alliance Is Ambiguous and Contradictory," 18 Mar. 2021 Negotiating a new lease would give the city a chance to negotiate a better deal for the taxpayers, Vice Mayor Steve Glassman argued. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale to Bahia Mar developer: Forget building condos on public land," 16 Mar. 2021 But there are few signs that the Biden administration will move to quickly negotiate a broader free trade deal with the United Kingdom, which has been a major priority for Prime Minister Boris Johnson following Brexit. Chris Isidore, CNN, "US-UK trade truce means cheaper whisky for Americans," 4 Mar. 2021 Cisneros helped a Mexican national travel illegally between the U.S. and Mexico to negotiate an oil deal on Dermen’s behalf, according to testimony at Cisneros’ trial. Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, "Homeland Security agent took bribes from organized crime, prosecutors charge," 2 Mar. 2021 Prescott would need to sign a contract with Dallas in order to become trade-eligible and then negotiate a long-term deal with Seattle. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Russell Wilson to the Cowboys? Why a potential trade is mostly silly, problematic," 25 Feb. 2021 After those talks ended, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani defied U.N. travel restrictions and went to Moscow to negotiate his own deal with Russia to protect and defend Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Star Tribune, "Iran is showing why Biden should follow the Trump doctrine," 19 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about negotiate

Time Traveler for negotiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of negotiate was circa 1598

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about negotiate

Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiate. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on negotiate

What made you want to look up negotiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!