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 Since then, top U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has sought to restart talks by negotiating a prisoner swap as a goodwill gesture. Author: Sayed Salahuddin, Susannah George, Anchorage Daily News, "Two U.S. service members killed in helicopter crash during Afghanistan combat," 20 Nov. 2019 On Wednesday, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city was ready to press forward with the Downtown North project, noting that the city was in the final stages of negotiating a development agreement with RMS. Steven Goode, courant.com, "Hartford scores major victory in court battle to develop land around Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Mayor Luke Bronin vows ‘new chapter.’," 20 Nov. 2019 But Adams and lawyers for the Senate have reached an impasse in negotiating her return to the state Capitol. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Arizona Senate asks for new trial in discrimination case won by former staffer," 14 Nov. 2019 About 156,000 of the members are hourly workers for the Detroit Three automakers, with which the UAW is in the midst of negotiating new four-year contracts. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "UAW to sell ex-president's lavish Up North cabin as part of ethics cleanup," 13 Nov. 2019 Evaluate higher interest rates: Discuss with your banker the possibility of negotiating a higher interest rate on the loan in exchange for limiting or eliminating a personal guarantee. Tom Cooney And Crystal Faulkner, Cincinnati.com, "BusinessWise: Guaranteeing a company loan can be risky business," 4 Nov. 2019 The musicians, though, are superb: in particular, the violist Matthew Lipman, who did such a fine job of negotiating the center of the music, and the two violinists, Arnaud Sussmann and Sean Lee, who made a wonderful pairing. Daniel Gelernter, National Review, "The Irresistible Beauty of Schubert," 2 Nov. 2019 In negotiating with police, Sunde and Halfmann claimed to have a baby in the van, but the complaint said Sunde later admitted there was no baby in the van, saying the ruse was a negotiation tactic. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pewaukee woman in Oconomowoc standoff that shut down I-94 for hours sentenced to five years in prison," 25 Oct. 2019 In announcing the agreement, Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the National Health Service in England, suggested the agreement underscores that drug makers must pursue a collaborative approach in negotiating access. Ed Silverman, STAT, "After years of battling, Vertex and the U.K. reach a deal for cystic fibrosis medicines," 24 Oct. 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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Statistics for negotiate

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiator?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=n&file=negoti06. Accessed 12 December 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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Comments on negotiate

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