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

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 People close to negotiations have acknowledged that many retirees don't realize the UAW is limited in its ability to negotiate for retirees as part of the contract, and many may not know of expanded benefits such as legal support. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "UAW retirees get $0 'bonus' from General Motors, Ford with new contract," 13 Nov. 2019 That certainly sounds like someone who’s ready to negotiate some new distribution partnerships. Washington Post, "For Streamers, the Great Unbundling Was Too Good to Be True," 13 Nov. 2019 Among other things, the bill written by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders would enable federal health officials to negotiate the prices of as many as 250 of the most costly drugs. Emmarie Huetteman, USA TODAY, "Voters say Congress needs to curb drug prices, but are lawmakers listening?," 11 Nov. 2019 But the Hindu parties in the case refused to negotiate, while other Muslim litigants also rejected the board’s offer. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "The Ayodhya dispute has cast a shadow on the future of these Indian mosques," 9 Nov. 2019 Other water districts are lining up behind Westlands to negotiate their own permanent contracts. Ellen Knickmeyer, SFChronicle.com, "Interior Department proposes coveted deal to former client of agency head," 8 Nov. 2019 The win for the French film, directed by Israeli Moshé Mizrahi, came in the midst of President Jimmy Carter's attempt to negotiate a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: International Film Race Puts Spotlight on Extreme Female Characters," 8 Nov. 2019 The first is to negotiate an agreement with the owner of Medford Quarry, the business Martin Marietta. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster officials, Carroll County commissioners not ‘in sync’ on water woes slowing development," 7 Nov. 2019 Mourinho was also interested in Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld but Woodward was reluctant to negotiate with notoriously tricky Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. SI.com, "The 2 Players Man Utd CEO Ed Woodward Wanted Before Club Signed Fred & Diogo Dalot," 6 Nov. 2019

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

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiating. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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

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