Definition of barter in English:



  • Exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.

    ‘he often bartered a meal for drawings’
    [no object] ‘they were able to buy or barter for most of what they needed’
    • ‘Try bartering a service you can perform in exchange for someone else's service to you.’
    • ‘In this system, people decide they want to reduce their reliance on money through bartering goods and services.’
    • ‘He said that Washington bartered goods with the East to establish trade with China as part of nation building.’
    • ‘No, the picture you show twice is actually of dishes that have been bartered for through service exchanges or even paid for through rebates.’
    • ‘She said in a presentation power cuts were fewer, apartments were being renovated and small firms were at work repairing bicycles and bartering goods.’
    • ‘Just decades ago, when job security was the top value offered by organizations, employees bartered their commitment and loyalty for assurance of a permanent place in the company.’
    • ‘Castro stormed from the room a couple of times, bartering a slowdown of the process as a condition for her return.’
    • ‘I took it back with bravado having been so successful bartering the day before.’
    • ‘Both men and women look forward to the weekly market day when goods are bartered, bought, and sold, and social activity is enjoyed.’
    • ‘Without language he somehow manages to convey the concept of bartering him food in exchange for the right to see something.’
    • ‘She is simply bartering goodies in return for comparative quietness.’
    • ‘Subsistence farmers traditionally bartered everything and had no need for money, but some know they can get cash from stealing artifacts.’
    • ‘And if you need something done for your business but don't have the money to pay for it, you can always barter goods or services in exchange.’
    • ‘Among the victims of the hype are schoolchildren, who seem to have bartered their pocket money for baubles.’
    • ‘As the society became more complex, records required to be kept, and computations done as the people bartered their goods.’
    • ‘Warwick's skills as a chimney maker were at a premium in the goldfields, and prized heirlooms were bartered for his services.’
    • ‘During the ceremony, the families come together and gifts are bartered and exchanged according to local customs.’
    • ‘Consider bartering your time and talent for services you might need.’
    • ‘The most heart wrenching of these stories is that of the 12-year-old who was bartered away by her father in exchange for a woman to marry his son.’
    • ‘Most medical societies prohibit members from bartering surgery for public relations purposes.’
    trade, swap, trade off, exchange, give in exchange, change, traffic, sell
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  • 1[mass noun] The action or system of bartering.

    ‘paper money ceases to have any value and people resort to barter’
    • ‘Those who survived used credit, barter, and available cash to stay in business.’
    • ‘They had to resort to direct barter with peasants, exchanging their products or even parts of their machines for food.’
    • ‘Bell's accounts also reveal the prevalence of barter over cash transactions.’
    • ‘Finally, due to the instability of the financial system in Asia Pacific, counter-trade agreements and barter might be other alternatives for doing business in Asia.’
    • ‘But even as you convert from trade to cash, barter still may have a place in your business.’
    • ‘You probably have ways of getting things through fair barter or trade.’
    • ‘People genuinely thought that after this there would be no more money systems, that it'd all be barter.’
    • ‘Burning Man is a refreshing, artsy anomaly in America, a place where commerce and barter are not allowed, replaced instead with selfless giving on an enormous scale.’
    • ‘With little cash in circulation, barter is popular.’
    • ‘That I just might find a friend from barter and trade in no way argues that the store is hospitable to the establishment of friendships.’
    • ‘I think it safe to say that the world would be back to an enormously complex and chaotic form of barter and that trade would be reduced to a virtual standstill.’
    • ‘When you do receive a new exploit, either by paying cash or through barter, pretend it's yours.’
    • ‘Businesses typically get by with a mix of cash and barter.’
    • ‘Occasionally, that system of trading degrades into heated barter or anger.’
    • ‘The Heqanakht letters show us barter and cash transactions.’
    • ‘A system of digital barter would be set up so that one could download viruses only by contributing new viruses.’
    • ‘E-tailers have a lot of returns, and companies that are struggling can use barter to manage their inventories, he adds.’
    • ‘Of course, this constant barter of cash for influence represents politics as usual.’
    • ‘Not only did bookkeeping barter accommodate two-way trade, it also facilitated triangular barter.’
    • ‘The programme takes them on a journey through time from barter and trade, to today's financial practises.’
    trading, trade, exchange, swapping, trafficking, business, commerce, buying and selling, dealing
    haggling, negotiation
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    1. 1.1Goods or services used in bartering.
      ‘I took a supply of coffee and cigarettes to use as barter’
      • ‘Before commercialization, when lobsters were fished as a subsistence item, or for sale or barter in small local markets, they were typically fished by hand or with gaffs and spears.’
      • ‘The right column was a record of credit, of payments in cash or barter made against the debt.’
      • ‘The introduction of muskets, as a major item of trade and barter, was the catalyst for the many conflicts which broke out.’
      • ‘After all, the last time I checked, neither my utility company nor the phone company would accept my skills in barter for their services.’
      • ‘The nuts were a vital source of food for their families, autumn forage for their animals, and a commodity for barter and sale.’


Late Middle English: probably from Old French barater deceive (see barratry).