Definition of chaffer in English:



  • Haggle about the terms of an agreement or price of something.

    ‘I chaffered in the bazaars for objects I wanted’
    • ‘He was choosing from my videoarchive the pieces he wanted to show, discussed with the visitors and chaffered with them.’
    • ‘We chaffered a good deal, but at last a bargain was struck.’
    • ‘He had bought him in Sydney from a sailor for eighteen shillings and chaffered an hour over the bargain.’
    • ‘The U. S. State Department last week was chaffering with the French government on this matter.’
    • ‘There in Costume House Street, which is Cardiff's Covent Garden, I held the pony while the woman chaffered over boxes of kippers and crates of oranges, sacks of potatoes and all the ingredients of her picturesque calling.’
    discuss terms, hold talks, discuss a settlement, talk, consult together, try to reach a compromise, parley, confer, debate
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mass nounarchaic
  • Haggling about the price of something.

    • ‘There was its corn market down the main street, with hum of chaffering over open sacks.’
    • ‘Kojima Productions indirectly answered all of this chaffering by giving players the ability to choose.’
    • ‘Room is left for the ‘higgling of the market’, but, for Proudhon, this is no metaphor; he really means the higgling of the market, the chaffering in the village square between the man selling a cow and the man selling fodder.’
    • ‘From these I reached, by way of mitigation, my recent successful piece of chaffering, and put the letter to the dealer under both examination and cross-examination.’
    • ‘The liberal theory of the state, hostile to princes, rejects the princes’ greed for lands and chaffering in lands.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘trade or trading’): from Old English cēap ‘a bargain’ + faru ‘journey’; probably influenced by Old Norse kaupfǫr.