1 a : haggle, exchange, barter
b : to bargain for
2 : to exchange small talk : chatter
Did You Know?
In the 1200s, the noun "chaffer" was originally used in the sense of "traffic" or "trade." This noun (also then spelled "chaffere," "cheffere," and "cheapfare") was formed as a combination of "chep," meaning "trade" or "bargaining," and "fare," meaning "journey." The verb "chaffer" appeared in the 1300s and originally meant "to trade, buy, and sell." Later, however, both the verb and the noun took on the senses referring to haggling and barter.
"In its market-places men chaffered for game and peaches, sea-fish, and wine made of rice and spices…." -- From Eileen Power's 1924 book Medieval People
"Those booths and kiosks were empty, though. The people who should have crowded the square, bargaining and chaffering, stood hushed, crowded back around its edges…." -- From David Weber's 2010 novel A Mighty Fortress
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of "chaffer" rhymes with "halter"? The answer is ...
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