ne·​go·​ti·​a·​tion | \ ni-ˌgō-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce negotiation (audio) , nonstandard -sē- How to pronounce negotiation (audio) \

Definition of negotiation

: the action or process of negotiating or being negotiated often used in pluralNegotiations between the two governments have failed to produce an agreement.

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Examples of negotiation in a Sentence

We need a negotiation between the townspeople and mayor over the site of the new library. She is skilled at negotiation. The college president was against any negotiation with the students.
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Recent Examples on the Web Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met major unions and employers’ associations for negotiations that focused on two key issues: the retirement age and the financing of the new system., "News of the Day From Around the World, Jan. 11," 10 Jan. 2020 What comes next remains far from clear — the deal set to go into effect Jan. 31 establishes a transition period, and the two sides are preparing for negotiations on a long-term trade deal and on other future ties. Stephen Castle,, "U.K. Parliament gives Brexit green light," 9 Jan. 2020 What comes next remains far from clear — the deal set to go into effect on Jan. 31 establishes a transition period, and the two sides are preparing for negotiations on a long-term trade deal and on other future ties. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "U.K. Lawmakers Give Brexit Bill the Green Light," 9 Jan. 2020 Now the House’s leaders are mulling an unprecedented next step: withholding those articles from the Senate—and effectively blocking the president’s trial there—as leverage in negotiations over the rules for that trial. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Don’t Withhold the Articles of Impeachment," 19 Dec. 2019 In the report, Harmon recommended that state officials be required to document reasons for ignoring expert advice in future negotiations. Alfred Miller, ProPublica, "There Are Kentuckians Who Still Don’t Have Broadband Because the Former Governor Chose an Investment Bank Over Experts," 17 Dec. 2019 As explained by Politico, a union named UNITE HERE 11 started picketing on campus recently after months of contract negotiations with a company contracted by the university. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Democratic Debate: Who’s Qualified, When It Starts, and How to Watch the December Debate," 16 Dec. 2019 Changing the contract would mean the level of subsidies would be up for negotiation. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Foxconn at risk of losing out on subsidies, Wisconsin warns tech company," 13 Dec. 2019 With holes to fill in the rotation, the bullpen, center field and at second base, the Cubs don’t have time for prolonged negotiations with star players seeking contract extensions. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs aren’t talking to Anthony Rizzo about an extension this offseason as they work to retool the roster.," 10 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'negotiation.' 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 negotiation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for negotiation

Middle English negociacion "dealing with people," borrowed from Latin negōtiātiōn-, negōtiātiō "business, trade," from negōtiārī "to do business, trade, deal" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at negotiate

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Time Traveler for negotiation

Time Traveler

The first known use of negotiation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for negotiation

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Negotiation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for negotiation



Financial Definition of negotiation

What It Is

Negotiation is a process in which two or more parties resolve a dispute or come to a mutual agreement.

How It Works

Negotiations occur all the time in the business world, and they are often strategic in nature. In many cases, they require a good legal education and a good financial education so that the parties can understand each other, make sound decisions, and understand the potential consequences of those decisions.

Negotiation often takes place in these business situations:

1. Company A and Company B want to merge but must agree on price, financing, and management changes.
2. John Doe wants a job with Company XYZ but must negotiate his salary and benefits.
3. Company A wants to purchase supplies from Company B on certain payment terms.
4. Company A wants Company B to become a customer.
5. John Doe is suing Jane Smith, and Jane Smith offers to settle out of court for a certain amount of money.
6. Union ABC wants higher wages and pension contributions from Company XYZ.
7. Jane Smith wants to buy a house from John Doe.

Why It Matters

The list is endless. The important thing to remember is that negotiation is not necessarily adversarial; it often is a strategic process. The objective is to come up with an agreement that benefits all parties. Sometimes parties must give up some things, but this is indeed part of the negotiation, and giving something up frequently allows for gains in other areas of the negotiation.

The best negotiators prepare themselves by studying the situation extensively before entering the negotiating room. They also consider deadlines, timing, cultural expectations, personalities, and the distribution of information in their negotiating strategies.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce negotiation (audio) How to pronounce negotiation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of negotiation

: a formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement : an act of negotiating


ne·​go·​ti·​a·​tion | \ ni-ˌgō-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce negotiation (audio) \

Kids Definition of negotiation

: the act or process of having a discussion in order to reach an agreement

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Comments on negotiation

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