Definition of negotiate in English:



  • 1Obtain or bring about by discussion.

    ‘he negotiated a new contract with the sellers’
    • ‘A family law barrister close to the Crikey crew advises that many men attempt to talk down their earning capacity when they are negotiating settlements with former wives.’
    • ‘It is unlikely to be contained by negotiating a settlement with the city for the same reasons there's been no settlement to date.’
    • ‘The universal bus pass is an on-going initiative from the Region of Waterloo's transit division, Grand River Transit, to negotiate a bus pass deal with students.’
    • ‘The two do not discuss their animosities or attempt to negotiate a peace settlement.’
    • ‘Instead, he and his attorney negotiated a deal before a formal indictment was brought against him.’
    • ‘Champagne glasses in hand, they announced that they had negotiated a settlement to the impending crisis.’
    • ‘Neither will be signed in time for today's visit of Livingston, and given the precarious financial position at Dens Park, it is uncertain whether the Dark Blues can negotiate a package to bring the two players in.’
    • ‘After several weeks of discussion, we negotiated a new figure for rent in spite of our frustration towards the complete violation of our previously stated agreement.’
    • ‘My father, at last glimpse, cell phone glued to his ear, was negotiating a settlement for some inscrutable business deal.’
    • ‘The terror was constant, especially when it became clear that all attempts to negotiate a settlement had failed.’
    • ‘The threat to smaller racecourses would come if bigger tracks decided to scrap the broadcasting contract altogether, and negotiate fresh deals for themselves individually.’
    • ‘During a bitter divorce from his former actress wife in New York, he moved into the flat of two gay friends while a settlement was negotiated in court.’
    • ‘Lawyers are busy negotiating a settlement, but meanwhile the leaders of Ireland's main political parties have been writing letters of support to Cooney.’
    • ‘Rather, they were able to negotiate a settlement with the English which brought their conflict to an end.’
    • ‘The letter said that if she agreed, a deal could be negotiated with a phone company which might bring her up to £7,000 a year in rent.’
    • ‘Over the next 2 1/2 months, we negotiated a settlement, which unfortunately I am not at liberty to describe in detail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She says it's ‘so American to sue’, so instead she is negotiating a settlement with the hospital.’
    • ‘As for determining appropriate compensation for infringements, Mr. Smith says the province must push Ottawa to introduce guidelines for negotiating settlements.’
    • ‘The old, educated, ruling elite fled after the Soviet invasion and no new ruling elite has emerged in its place capable of negotiating a peace settlement.’
    arrange, work out, thrash out, hammer out, reach an agreement on, agree on, come to terms about, reach terms on, broker
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    1. 1.1[no object]Try to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion.
      ‘they refused to negotiatewith the rebels’
      • ‘We have been negotiating for 18 months and then this came out of the blue.’
      • ‘The trade unions should make this as part of their bargaining when negotiating for conditions of service with employers.’
      • ‘And on the one hand, you might say it's about time that, you know, the Congress did something about negotiating for a better price for prescription drugs.’
      • ‘I don't expect people I meet socially to address me as Mistress, unless they are negotiating for a scene with me.’
      • ‘The court rules encourage both sides to negotiate and reach agreement wherever possible.’
      • ‘The port and the unions have been negotiating for two months over the employment agreement, which covers around 240 staff.’
      • ‘But humoring allies counts for little in itself, and negotiating for its own sake has no appeal.’
      • ‘Willingness to negotiate and compromise, when appropriate, helps regain control of an explosive situation.’
      • ‘Crees have been negotiating for 26 years to get jurisdiction over the islands, but the talks have continuously broken down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He said the biggest problem at the moment was the demand for aircraft arriving for maintenance work or when they were negotiating for new owners.’
      • ‘I'm only surprised that so many papers were filed and it appeared to be so ugly when the parties, apparently, had been negotiating for weeks.’
      • ‘All they are negotiating for is the right to compete for third place.’
      • ‘The group is negotiating for Single Regeneration Funds being allocated by Yorkshire Forward to revive the rural economy.’
      • ‘The different caucuses should also negotiate and reach agreements between themselves in advance.’
      • ‘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 trade authorities in the two countries have been negotiating for years and sometimes quarreled bitterly in the process.’
      • ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, and Dockrells United are currently negotiating for sponsorship with a well-known maker of sanitary ware.’
      • ‘Put in simple terms, he's negotiating for his survival.’
      • ‘Yet Australia can play to the cultural strengths of the Pacific in negotiating for new institutions.’
      discuss terms, hold talks, discuss a settlement, talk, consult together, try to reach a compromise, parley, confer, debate
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  • 2Find a way over or through (an obstacle or difficult route)

    ‘she cautiously negotiated the hairpin bend’
    • ‘It involves negotiating mountainous routes through snow and the ice of glaciers as well as the ascent of rock routes in a glaciated environment.’
    • ‘Over very rough terrain and in negotiating large obstacles, the combined gas and hydraulics suspension system provides a very smooth and comfortable ride.’
    • ‘Whatever the weather, the friendly drivers of the Ship and Anchor bus are happy to negotiate the route between 17th Avenue and the Jubilee Auditorium.’
    • ‘In some cases there is barely room for a pedestrian never mind a pram or wheelchair etc, and it is far too dangerous to go on to the road itself to negotiate these obstacles.’
    • ‘All visiting dignitaries were required to negotiate an obstacle course.’
    • ‘Progress was held up while extra engineering work was carried out to break through the concrete and negotiate the obstacle.’
    • ‘I've found lately that much of the work I might do for myself is about trying to bring influences into my life, or negotiate whatever hurdles or obstacles there may be, so I can best live and act according to my nature.’
    • ‘During the evening, guests negotiated an obstacle course of mind games and computer problems.’
    • ‘Finally, in the trial mode, gamers can take a dirt bike and try to negotiate an obstacle course.’
    • ‘She would also need to negotiate a safe route to the field.’
    • ‘So my challenge, should anyone care to accept it, is to negotiate a route, any route, from my home near Whitehill Road, Gravesend, into Gravesend town centre, do some basic shopping then home.’
    • ‘We set up a live-fire combat assault lane that required the soldiers to negotiate a grueling obstacle course and engage targets as they moved through the course.’
    • ‘However, the difficulties of negotiating the political obstacles to further reform of the CAP were clearly demonstrated in November 1995.’
    • ‘At the acknowledged point, they all appear and attempt to negotiate the obstacle course of foot pedals and instruments.’
    • ‘A team of 19 rescuers helped paramedics negotiate obstacles including a link chain fence and an 8ft vertical drop to carry the teenager to safety.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘We have a theory that their journey time down to us is always short because the traffic just parts for them, and people stand and doff caps as they negotiate the tricky route along the A3.’
    • ‘Relative hangovers are the topic of the day as Big Nosed B negotiates the back route to Phoenix with his usual driving aplomb and disregard for human or animal life.’
    • ‘Extra engineering work was needed to break through the concrete and negotiate the obstacle, resulting in a slight delay to the five-month project.’
    • ‘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.’
    get over, get past, get round, make one's way over, make one's way past, make one's way round, make it over, make it past, make it round, clear, cross, pass over
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  • 3Transfer (a cheque, bill, or other document) to the legal ownership of another person, who thus becomes entitled to any benefit.

    • ‘There's a resident standing in front of him negotiating his bill.’
    • ‘In other words, it must pay the payee (the supplier in our case), and anyone to whom the supplier negotiates the bill.’
    • ‘It demanded, however, that the bill be negotiated.’
    • ‘Panin Bank undertook to reimburse SCB if SCB negotiated the documents.’
    • ‘When the payee transfers or negotiates a bill, he is generally asked to indorse it.’
    • ‘In our submission, that does not amount to drawing, accepting and negotiating a bill of exchange.’
    • ‘This would mean that the homes would charge higher rates for residents whose bill is negotiated and paid by Doncaster Council.’
    • ‘INA negotiated the bill to ensure patient safety.’
    1. 3.1Convert (a cheque) into cash or notes.
      • ‘He was not involved in negotiating the credit note.’


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