Definition of negotiate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /nɪˈɡəʊʃɪeɪt/


[with object]
1Obtain or bring about by discussion: he negotiated a new contract with the sellers
More example sentences
  • For a while the police tried to negotiate a way to bring the 65 year-old cleric out of jail and off to a new cell without confrontation.
  • Rather, they were able to negotiate a settlement with the English which brought their conflict to an end.
  • My father, at last glimpse, cell phone glued to his ear, was negotiating a settlement for some inscrutable business deal.
arrange, work out, thrash out, hammer out, reach an agreement on, agree on, come to terms about, reach terms on, broker;
settle, clinch, conclude, contract, pull off, bring off, bring about, transact
informal sort out, swing
1.1 [no object] Try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion: they refused to negotiate with the rebels
More example sentences
  • The United Forum of Bank Unions has been negotiating for a new agreement with Indian Banks Association since July 2 but has failed to reach a settlement.
  • The court rules encourage both sides to negotiate and reach agreement wherever possible.
  • That matrix was the background to the commercial adventure that formed the subject matter of the contract, not the mechanism by which the parties set about negotiating and reaching agreement.
discuss terms, hold talks, discuss a settlement, talk, consult together, try to reach a compromise, parley, confer, debate;
mediate, intercede, arbitrate, moderate, conciliate, act as honest broker;
bargain, haggle, wheel and deal, dicker
informal powwow
formal treat with someone
archaic chaffer, palter
2Find a way over or through (an obstacle or difficult route): she cautiously negotiated the hairpin bend
More example sentences
  • Many had difficulty negotiating the cross-drive obstacle, where often it was not until they were almost upon it that is was clear whether the sheep were going through or around the outside.
  • Would you want to be a pedestrian or cyclist using such a street while some of the drivers around here try to negotiate an obstacle course?
  • However, the difficulties of negotiating the political obstacles to further reform of the CAP were clearly demonstrated in November 1995.
get round/past/over, make one's way round/past/over, make it round/past/over, clear, cross, pass over;
surmount, overcome, deal with, cope with
3Transfer (a cheque, bill, or other document) to the legal ownership of another person, who thus becomes entitled to any benefit.
Example sentences
  • When the payee transfers or negotiates a bill, he is generally asked to indorse it.
  • There's a resident standing in front of him negotiating his bill.
  • In our submission, that does not amount to drawing, accepting and negotiating a bill of exchange.
3.1Convert (a cheque) into cash or notes.
Example sentences
  • He was not involved in negotiating the credit note.



Pronunciation: /nɪˈɡəʊʃɪənt/
noun ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • The demands of the Fallujah negotiants from the government weeks ago were obscene and they clearly reflect the overt sectarianism and regionalism of the armed groups in the area.
  • A new wave of smaller, more quality-oriented negotiants is starting to emerge, creating more individual, quality wines.
  • The strength of the wine industry, especially the wines from France - and that is the standard most should strive to achieve - was as the direct result of the negotiants.


Early 17th century: from Latin negotiat- 'done in the course of business', from the verb negotiari, from negotium 'business', from neg- 'not' + otium 'leisure'.

  • The words negotiate and negotiations (Late Middle English) came into English from the Latin verb negotiari, which was made up of the two parts neg-, meaning ‘not’, and otium, ‘leisure’, the same image as business. Otium is also the root of the English word otiose (late 18th century), ‘serving no practical purpose, pointless’.

Words that rhyme with negotiate

associate, dissociate

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ne¦go¦ti|ate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.