Definition of chaffer in English:



[no object]
  • Haggle about the terms of an agreement or price of something.

    ‘I chaffered in the bazaars for objects I wanted’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    discuss terms, hold talks, discuss a settlement, talk, consult together, try to reach a compromise, parley, confer, debate
    View synonyms


mass nounarchaic
  • Haggling about the price of something.

    • ‘The liberal theory of the state, hostile to princes, rejects the princes’ greed for lands and chaffering in lands.’
    • ‘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.’


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