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

Under the terms of Patterson’s plea agreement, negotiated by his lawyer, Walter D. Hussey, and prosecutors David Zagaja and John Fahey, Patterson will be sentenced to 10 years in prison to run concurrently with his 100-year sentence. David Owens, courant.com, "Hartford man pleads guilty to killing third man in 2008," 4 Sep. 2019 City officials have said no large Texas city has negotiated an entire collective bargaining agreement through arbitration. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "Federal judge rules San Antonio did not violate fire union’s free speech rights during charter campaign," 3 Sep. 2019 After all, Parliament voted three times against a Brexit agreement negotiated by Mr. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, and the European Union is stubbornly refusing to reopen negotiations. Stephen Castle, New York Times, "What’s Next for Brexit? Six Possible Outcomes," 30 Aug. 2019 The executive added the issue likely came to a head with Tencent Music’s parent company Tencent Holdings Ltd negotiating to buy a share of Universal Music Group. Rob Schwartz, Billboard, "Chinese Music Industry Reacts to Tencent Music Investigation," 29 Aug. 2019 Kansas City Royals owner David Glass is negotiating to sell the team to local businessman John Sherman for more than $1 billion, sources familiar with the discussions told ESPN. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Andrew Luck made a lifestyle choice. Respect it, football fans.," 28 Aug. 2019 The fast fashion retailer was already negotiating additional financing options and working with advisors to restructure the company's debt, but those discussions have stalled, according to Bloomberg. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Forever 21 Is Reportedly Considering Filing for Bankruptcy," 28 Aug. 2019 In such places, the job of the humanitarian forensic expert involves negotiating the humane treatment of dead bodies, the return of human remains to the families and the honorable disposal of bodies according to the rites of their religion or faith. Ahmad Samarji, The Conversation, "Humanitarian forensic scientists trace the missing, identify the dead and comfort the living," 28 Aug. 2019 Gahan is optimistic that the Ascension MPA can be a model for successful marine conservation, in part because the reserve was negotiated with buy-in from local residents. National Geographic, "Largest marine protected area in Atlantic Ocean will soon be official," 26 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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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