Definition of bargain in English:


Line breaks: bar|gain
Pronunciation: /ˈbɑːgɪn


  • 2A thing bought or offered for sale much more cheaply than is usual or expected: the table was a real bargain [as modifier]: a bargain price of 99p
    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, cheap buy; (good) value for money, surprisingly cheap
    informal snip, steal, giveaway


[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction: he bargained with the local council to rent the stadium
    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, barter, negotiate, discuss terms, hold talks, deal, wheel and deal, trade, traffic; North American dicker
    formal treat
    archaic chaffer, palter
  • 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 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.


drive a hard bargain

Be uncompromising in making a deal: the company’s prowess in driving a hard bargain has placed severe pressure on suppliers
More 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 (North American in) the bargain

In addition to what has already been mentioned or was expected: I am now tired and extremely hungry—with a headache 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: they handed over hostages as a guarantee that they would keep their side of the bargain
More 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.



More 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.


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

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