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 Then on Wednesday officers had to conduct an elaborate crisis intervention, negotiating with an unstable person who was on the tracks for more than nine hours. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "BART names new police chief," 10 Jan. 2020 The issue has emerged as a sticking point in recent weeks as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and key senators have been negotiating draft legislation to move the Secret Service back to his department, its historic home. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration seeks to delay Secret Service travel disclosures until after election," 9 Jan. 2020 The upper chamber cannot begin a trial without the articles, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans have the votes to approve a resolution without negotiating with Democrats. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Cory Booker says impeachment trial could be a "big blow" to his presidential campaign," 9 Jan. 2020 Then the wrenching ambivalence that black Americans felt about their various methods for negotiating not only Jim Crow laws but, what could be more complicated, also the unwritten racial codes of their day. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "Satchmo’s Smile," 9 Jan. 2020 Despite this action by SEIU, the Library remains committed to negotiating in good faith at the bargaining table for a strong and sustainable future. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Cleveland Public Library workers give union the OK to strike, if agreement cannot be reached," 9 Jan. 2020 His fitness will be crucial as the Reds -- now 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League -- negotiate a crowded fixture calendar in a bid to win their first title in 30 years. George Ramsay, CNN, "Sadio Mane crowned Africa's best footballer having emerged as Liverpool's key man," 8 Jan. 2020 But police made some progress on the front, Craig said, adding that police made 12 arrests following those incidents, confiscated seven guns and negotiated a truce between some gangs in the 10th Precinct. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit saw more homicides, fewer rapes, and 300 new officers in 2019," 5 Jan. 2020 The sheriff ended the contract with ICE last year after a political uproar, but not before negotiating with the county board of supervisors, which pledged more realignment money to make up for the lost revenue from the federal agency. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.," 28 Dec. 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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Negotiate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negotiatory. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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