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bargain Syllabification: bar·gain
Pronunciation: /ˈbärɡən/

Definition of bargain in English:


1An agreement between two or more parties as to what each party will do for the other: the extraconstitutional bargain between the northern elite and the southern planters
More example sentences
  • This is clearly a political bargain or contract.
  • The Maastricht package was a political bargain, which deliberately left for later negotiation many of the wider ramifications of monetary union.
  • Gauthier argues that it is the outcome that minimizes the maximum relative concessions of each party to the bargain.
contract, pact, compact;
pledge, promise
2A thing bought or offered for sale more cheaply than is usual or expected: the secondhand table was a real bargain [as modifier]: household and electrical goods at bargain prices
More example sentences
  • The sale offers bargains and discounts of up to 70 per cent on everything from fashion to food and electronics to jewellery.
  • And whatever else January may bring with it, it also offers new beginnings and bargains at the sales.
  • What can be wrong with this, especially when they're offering a bargain price on the bundle?
good buy, (good) value for the money, surprisingly cheap
informal steal, deal, giveaway, best buy


[no object] Back to top  
1Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction: he bargained with the city council to rent the stadium (as noun bargaining) many statutes are passed by political bargaining
More example sentences
  • Consequently, service fees get bargained down in contract negotiations.
  • Springlike weather prevailed as vendors and buyers bartered and bargained.
  • Increased union membership in the mid-twentieth century clearly helped, as workers bargained and lobbied for improved working conditions.
haggle, negotiate, discuss terms, hold talks, deal, barter, dicker
formal treat
1.1 [with object] (bargain something away) Part with something after negotiation but get little or nothing in return: his determination not to bargain away any of the province’s existing economic powers
More example sentences
  • Mr Dukes added that on the last occasion, EU agricultural interests were bargained away for gains in other sectors.
  • We are not going to sit idly by and allow the Government to destroy our healthy and beautiful environment, as they bargain our lives away to a foreign entity, all for the sake of money.
  • He told the Sun Herald that weekend rates, overtime and penalty rates could be bargained away, rendering the 38-hour week entirely meaningless.
1.2 (bargain for/on) Be prepared for; expect: I got more information than I’d bargained for he didn’t bargain on this storm
More example sentences
  • Prescott will begin to reconstruct his relationship with both Gilchrist and the employers in the next few days, prepared to bargain on the amount of cash the government will contribute to the deal.
  • Your gripe was that you did not get what you bargained for and expected because of this misrepresentation.
  • What Pitt-Watson probably hadn't bargained for was the formidable figure sitting to Grossart's right.
expect, anticipate, be prepared for, allow for, plan for, reckon with, take into account, take into consideration, contemplate, imagine, envisage, foresee, predict;
count on, rely on, depend on, bank on, plan on, reckon on, figure on


Middle English: from Old French bargaine (noun), bargaignier (verb); probably of Germanic origin and related to German borgen 'borrow'.


drive a hard bargain

Be uncompromising in making a deal.
Example sentences
  • Now it transpires that in the final days of negotiations Gannett drove a hard bargain, reducing the real value of the deal by tens of millions.
  • Vortas laughed softly reaching out a hand to seal the deal, ‘You drive a hard bargain.’
  • As a result the various PA partners feel they are in a stronger position to drive a hard bargain in the pre-election wrangling over seats.

into (or in) the bargain

In addition to what was expected; moreover: an upstate yokel and a raving paranoiac into the bargain
More example sentences
  • Those expecting a sun holiday into the bargain will be disappointed.
  • We are instead on the verge of spectacular advances in many fields that will likely be energy conserving into the bargain.
  • He had recently switched to a new monitor, and installed the After Dark screensaver into the bargain.

keep one's side of the bargain

Carry out the promises one has made as part of an agreement.
Example sentences
  • In any case, Chris kept his side of the bargain, too (unsurprising since he always keeps his promises), which makes me happier than anything I did yesterday.
  • I've kept my side of the bargain and now the Government should keep its side.
  • ‘I have kept my side of the bargain,’ one woman said, explaining that she understood when she moved into the estate that she was obliged to keep the house in good condition.

strike a bargain

Make a bargain; agree to a deal.
Example sentences
  • To Powell the pragmatists, this is evidence that North Korea's government is willing to strike a bargain in return for its continued existence.
  • So, cable channels needn't strike a bargain with the FCC in order to operate.
  • ‘Miss Lyttle,’ he finally began, ‘let's strike a bargain, shall we?’



Pronunciation: /ˈbärɡ(ə)nər/
Example sentences
  • Abdullah is going to be a harder negotiator, a harder bargainer.
  • This technique can be quite effective against soft bargainers: American negotiators look for quick results, and the Russians know this.
  • Henry pressed with the alacrity of a bargainer at the negotiating table.

Words that rhyme with bargain

Begin • Kosygin

Definition of bargain in:

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