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

In the months since, federal officials have negotiated behind the scenes to try to find common ground over what strength of 5G transmission signals would be allowed on that portion of the spectrum. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "High-stakes dispute turns nasty, pits 5G technology against weather forecasting," 6 Aug. 2019 IPic negotiated prior to bankruptcy with its creditors, which include The Employees' Retirement System of Alabama and Teachers' Retirement System of Alabama. Bloomberg News, al, "Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama giving luxury theater chain a $16 million bankruptcy loan," 5 Aug. 2019 This past February, the department negotiated a free 90-day pilot program with Axon, in which the company provided 17 body cameras and two in-car cameras. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, "After a successful trial, Burbank officials OK body-worn cameras for police," 3 Aug. 2019 Instead, Trump and Kim agreed only to set up negotiating teams aimed at restarting talks to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons programs. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Trump dismisses North Korea missile tests. Experts say he's giving Kim regime a 'free pass'," 2 Aug. 2019 Unite Here and LSG Sky Chefs have been negotiating a new contract since October. Dallas News, "100 union catering workers are planning to get arrested while protesting American Airlines," 2 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday, Chalfant gave the two parties until Oct. 15 to continue negotiating a settlement. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Dirt from Devil’s Gate haulers causes dust-up among locals, county," 31 July 2019 Zygadło negotiated the traffic with difficulty, at one point stopping smack in the middle of one of Warsaw’s (admittedly confusing) roundabouts. Ruth Franklin, The New Yorker, "Olga Tokarczuk’s Novels Against Nationalism," 29 July 2019 Linklater negotiated for the copyright to his coming-of-age drama Boyhood, which was made during the course of 12 years. Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Quentin Tarantino Scored Rare Ownership Deal With 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'," 23 July 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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Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

11 Aug 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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