Main definitions of deal in English

: deal1deal2



  • 1[with object] Distribute (cards) in an orderly rotation to the players for a game or round.

    ‘the cards were dealt for the last hand’
    [with two objects] figurative ‘fate dealt her a different hand’
    • ‘The cards will be dealt by the player on declarer's left, and cut by the player opposite to declarer.’
    • ‘Once these cards have been dealt, the dealer decides when everyone should pick up their cards.’
    • ‘Seven cards were dealt to each player, leaving 3 cards in the kitty.’
    • ‘The game begins with each player being dealt five cards in the usual way.’
    • ‘The cards are dealt in rotation to the right, beginning with the eldest hand.’
    • ‘Or should I just accept the fact that fate has dealt me a card from the bottom of the deck and move on?’
    • ‘In some places it is the player to the right of the dealer who is dealt no cards and sits out of the play.’
    • ‘It's strange, sometimes, how life deals you different cards at what seems like the wrong moment, and it's not until you get them all that it suddenly makes sense.’
    • ‘In this casino banking game three cards are dealt to each player and two face down to the dealer.’
    • ‘Pai Gow Poker is played with up to six players and the banker, each being dealt seven cards.’
    • ‘When the cards have been dealt, the betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer.’
    • ‘Six cards are dealt to each player, in threes, and the remaining cards are not used.’
    • ‘The dealer deals out one card to each player (except the dealer).’
    • ‘Next, a third hole card is dealt to each player, followed by another round of betting.’
    • ‘Five cards are dealt to each player, clockwise, one at a time.’
    • ‘Nope - fate dealt me a different set of cards this time.’
    • ‘Four cards are dealt to each player, and four are turned face up on the table.’
    • ‘A second round of four cards per player is dealt face down, stacked on the first rows.’
    • ‘But perhaps that was the one wild card life dealt me.’
    • ‘In the event of a tie, the tied players roll the discard dice and are dealt the number of cards indicated by the dice.’
    distribute, give out, share out, divide out, divide up, hand out, pass out, pass round, dole out, mete out, dispense, allocate, allot, assign, apportion, bestow
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    1. 1.1Include a new player in a card game by giving them cards.
      • ‘Let's deal him in and give him a piece of the cake.’
      • ‘We would have dealt them in a different time, I think.’
      • ‘The vicar silently sat at the table and the monk dealt him in.’
      • ‘Adam gave Rocky an annoyed look, but gathered the cards to deal him in.’
      • ‘Europe says deal us in: despite record dollar vs. euro rates, or perhaps because of them, there are some unusual deals and low prices for rooms in parts of Europe.’
    2. 1.2Distribute or mete out (something) to a person or group.
      ‘the funds raised were dealt out to the needy’
      • ‘The stakes were upped last Monday when the consequences of last summer's direct action protest were dealt out at Dingwall Sheriff Court.’
      • ‘Children were pulled out of their seats by their hair and beatings with the leather belt were dealt out to all.’
      • ‘The same treatment is dealt out to a young mother, who has given birth out of wedlock, and to a pretty young temptress, merely because it is felt that her blossoming good looks may undermine her future.’
      • ‘An alcoholic has been banned from every pub in Basildon after being dealt an anti-social behaviour order.’
      • ‘You can't help but feel that it's missing a vital trump card - whether it be in the script itself, or the way it is dealt out.’
  • 2[no object] Take part in commercial trading of a particular commodity.

    ‘directors were prohibited from dealing in the company's shares’
    • ‘Vendors and retailers dealing in pirated products, either covertly or overtly, pose an omnipresent temptation to already vulnerable consumers’
    • ‘In IT, a disaster recovery plan is critical for a business dealing in information.’
    • ‘For people who deal in commercial property this is an unfortunate fact of life.’
    • ‘All businesses dealing in single or linked cash transactions in excess of €15,000 will have to report any suspicious transactions to the authorities.’
    • ‘He worked in the family wholesale business, dealing in hardware and fancy goods, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.’
    • ‘The ferries and superferries which sail to and from the ports have been particular targets for people dealing in human traffic.’
    • ‘The Nabataeans flourished and built a great city in the inhospitable surroundings, dealing in silk and wool, perfumes and aromatic substances, foodstuffs and oil.’
    • ‘Making pictures and dealing in them is an intimate business.’
    • ‘And how many of those ‘businessmen’ who thrive on dealing in stolen vehicles or jewelry are caught and brought to justice?’
    • ‘Since their arrival in Europe, Roma have been self-employed artisans, entertainers, and middle men dealing in various commodities.’
    • ‘Companies dealing in commodities, for instance, still find quality and price the foremost factors in attracting customers.’
    • ‘So election time means good business for shops dealing in shawls.’
    • ‘Meet Archana, now a businesswoman dealing in jewellery.’
    • ‘The bank hopes that it will attract potential customers like wholesalers and retailers dealing in commodity trading, white goods and automobiles.’
    • ‘He had done two dangerous things, stealing state property on a large scale, and dealing in a socially sensitive commodity, as well as making an enormous profit for himself.’
    • ‘He was employed as a sewing machine operator at a factory owned by Goodwill Industries of South Florida, a non-profit organisation dealing in used clothing and furniture.’
    • ‘He is also the owner of CRISM, an import business dealing in foreign used vehicles.’
    • ‘He had with him one Mr. Hanks, a Dutch businessman dealing in air filtration system, solar energy, metallurgical machinery and materials.’
    • ‘Novus is a world-wide franchise organisation dealing in windscreen, domestic and commercial glass repairs.’
    • ‘However, this was not his only motivation to decide to stay and open a business dealing in tourism and the export of wines.’
    trade in, buy and sell, be concerned with trading, be engaged in trading, do business in
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    1. 2.1Be concerned with.
      ‘a movie that deals in ideas and issues’
      • ‘The situations Abe deals in do not raise epistemological or existential questions; they are deranged treatments of metaphysics.’
      • ‘This software company deals in ‘legacy development’, which means that it helps companies to migrate from old computer systems and databases to newer ones.’
      • ‘Once one deals in principles that are so fundamental, intractable and as slippery as fairness, then the devil, as one says, is in working through its details.’
      • ‘His local education authority deals in euphemisms.’
      • ‘While much of the report deals in generalizations, the study's authors occasionally zero in on particular situations with a sharp eye for the telling detail.’
      • ‘He would not learn here that the law deals in objective truth, that it is concerned with fact.’
      • ‘McCall Smith deals in the comedy of character, rather than in farce.’
      • ‘He deals in good old-fashioned American tales of heroism.’
      • ‘It deals in postmodern layers of textuality and reality, and as far as I can tell, leaves many of these issues open.’
      • ‘The NDP's Lisa Hutton is looking to participate in a government which deals in respect for individuals and in positive changes.’
      • ‘Although it deals in timeless emotions, there is a timely relevance in any film that asks how you escape a world of violence when death does not settle disputes but merely stimulates a hunger for further killing.’
      • ‘It chiefly concerns one Alex-Li Tandem, who deals in fame, obtaining, verifying and selling autographs.’
      • ‘Even the bookies are sceptical about the chances of this happening, but a voice worth listening to is that of McLaren's veteran designer Adrian Newey, a man who deals in hard facts.’
      • ‘The city archaeologist deals in fact, not folklore.’
      • ‘This author deals in short-breathed paragraphs that are convincing enough in their own right but never combine into something bigger and better.’
      • ‘HE MAY not be a person who deals in ifs and buts, but, referencing Rudyard Kipling's poem ‘If’, David Hay is the epitome of a man.’
      • ‘Hollywood deals in illusions, Arnold has always sought the truth, and that is why her famous pictures of Marilyn Monroe feel like glimpses of a living woman rather than coldly iconic memorials.’
      • ‘As everyone who deals in any area of fiction is aware, there's such a thing as two people independently coming up with the same idea.’
      • ‘The book itself will never be serialised in a tabloid paper like ‘The Sun’ because Finney is not the type of person who deals in scandal and sensationalism.’
      • ‘It deals in the latest cutting-edge research on farming and science, together with one ingredient that is in short supply these days: solid, good sense.’
      concern, be about, be concerned with, concern itself with, have to do with, discuss, consider, cover, treat of, pertain to, appertain to
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    2. 2.2informal Buy and sell illegal drugs.
      [with object] ‘Frankie started dealing cocaine’
      • ‘He had been dealing crack cocaine with three others, with each of them making about £1,000 a week in profit.’
      • ‘People caught dealing marijuana, or using or dealing most other drugs still face stiff criminal penalties.’
      • ‘A woman who dealt heroin on the steps of York Magistrates Court was jailed for three-and-a - half years - and a top judge warned he would do all he could to rid York of the drug.’
      • ‘During questioning, both agents admitted to the offence and told officers they'd been dealing in the illegal drugs for a long time.’
      • ‘My parents have come to the conclusion that Rich deals and sells drugs.’
      • ‘Under cross-examination you admitted that you dealt cocaine and had been using it.’
      • ‘Another example, which does not involve public disorder, occurs where a woman is living with a man who, she discovers, is dealing in drugs.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the jury was told, the two men dealt heroin to dozens of people across the city.’
      • ‘He dealt prescription pills from his Elliott home, police said.’
      • ‘I had never dealt drugs, manufactured drugs, trafficked drugs or anything.’
      • ‘To do that, your Honours, it would have to be established, in my respectful submission, beyond reasonable doubt, that the man Rocky was dealing in drugs.’
      • ‘One of the raids was in Leyland Road, near Turf Moor, where there had been reports of heroin being dealt from the back door of a house.’
  • 3[no object] Take measures concerning (someone or something), especially with the intention of putting something right.

    ‘the government had been unable to deal with the economic crisis’
    • ‘She added that the functions of the Liaison Officers would include dealing with concerns and needs of tenants in regard to estate management and maintenance.’
    • ‘Police, health, social services and other organisations should not be afraid to share details of cases when dealing with violence in the home, she said.’
    • ‘I have never had to deal directly with a terror incident or suspect.’
    • ‘We can't deal on an ad hoc basis with every individual who expresses a point of view.’
    • ‘More recently he has been saying all First Nations concerns can be dealt with during the implementation phase, which would of course happen after the bill is passed.’
    • ‘Bringing things closer into sight is the first step in dealing with potential threats.’
    • ‘As the level of gambling increases, so does problem gambling that cannot possibly be avoided or dealt with by the pusillanimous measures in the bill.’
    • ‘Happily, in many respects, his concerns have been dealt with.’
    • ‘Every once in a while a coach must deal with issues concerning respect.’
    • ‘There is little doubt then that the increasingly active campesinos and Zapatistas will not see their concerns dealt with any time soon.’
    • ‘A detective is dealing with both complaints and has personally spoken with the complainants.’
    • ‘There have been and continue to be serious tensions and bitter rows - but all concerned have dealt with these in a very adult and professional way.’
    • ‘He said the council had failed to deal properly with his complaint about the Inspection and Registration Unit.’
    • ‘The trans-local and trans-national terrorists should be dealt with through collaborative security measures.’
    • ‘He lambasted the HSE for failing to deal adequately with the matter.’
    • ‘There is an obvious reluctance to deal directly with questions of policy or merits.’
    • ‘Trained volunteers will deal with residents' concerns, passing them on to the relevant authority.’
    • ‘The Society deals with complaints of inadequate professional service and/or professional misconduct.’
    • ‘The whole sad story indicates how badly the police force has dealt with the concerns of women.’
    • ‘Questions of discipline, and questions of investigation relating to the individual concerned, will be dealt with by the department.’
    cope with, handle, manage, attend to, see to, take care of, take charge of, take in hand, sort out, tackle, take on
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    1. 3.1Cope with (a difficult person or situation)
      ‘you'll have to find a way of dealing with those feelings’
      • ‘But he had a difficult situation to deal with, and there was no perfect resolution.’
      • ‘Of course, our hospitals will continue to deal with emergency cases and treat infectious diseases, whoever is involved.’
      • ‘CBT teaches coping skills for dealing with or avoiding situations involving high risk for relapse.’
      • ‘With the moon in Uranus, you'll find emotional situations difficult to deal with.’
      • ‘Most chief executives never have to deal with the aftermath of death and mayhem.’
      • ‘Passion is fine, but hard work is difficult, and dealing with the effects on people's lives of situations like that is no soft matter.’
      • ‘But he said police now went for further tactical training on how to handle firearms, on defence and dealing with dangerous situations.’
      • ‘This gossip can complicate a breakup situation even more, and dealing with constant whispers and apparent ‘truths’ is usually difficult.’
      • ‘London began digging out on Friday, dealing with the aftermath of the attacks.’
      • ‘Toop did not have a particularly helpful start to his life and had some difficulty in dealing with confrontational situations, Mr Warren told magistrates.’
      • ‘The politic way to deal with this is treat it like something you could maybe help with.’
      • ‘Are you living with parents who don't understand you, coping with divorce and adoption, or dealing with sensitive and difficult situations like illness or abuse?’
      • ‘Officers should also be trained to deal with such situations so they don't continue to handle them in this manner.’
      • ‘Bullies may also turn to this abusive behavior as a way of dealing with a difficult situation at home, such as a divorce.’
      • ‘Keeping your cool in a situation like this is difficult, but after a few times of dealing with life-and-death situations you learn to turn off emotion and deal with the problem at hand.’
      • ‘Just think of all the trouble and all the shame we would have had to deal with if we had treated him like our own son.’
      • ‘You are confident, gracious and just when dealing with difficult people and situations in the family.’
      • ‘This is not to say the court system couldn't cope with some reform to deal with new situations.’
      • ‘This only reinforces his fear and will make it more difficult for him to deal with other new situations.’
      • ‘Any wonder he has issues dealing with enlightenment concepts like ‘evidence’ and ‘reasoning’?’
    2. 3.2[with adverbial]Treat (someone) in a particular way.
      ‘life had dealt harshly with her’
      • ‘They note that he was dealt with more harshly than the student who was just sent back to his seat for making the lewd remark.’
      • ‘Anyone involved in trafficking drugs will be dealt with harshly, and that's the outcome.’
      • ‘If you do not cooperate, you will be dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘Police sources have been quoted as saying the protesters will be dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘Spammers are jeopardizing what is probably the most significant communication tool in history, and they deserve to be dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘Those who believe Baxter has been harshly dealt with point to two factors.’
      • ‘Originally only those physically incapable were deemed worthy of charity and able-bodied beggars were dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘It is feared protestors will be dealt with harshly by police and troops.’
      • ‘‘The players have been harshly dealt with by the media,’ he says.’
      • ‘If we can find the culprit and he admits this gross error, then he will be dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘Most people can sense when they have been dealt with unfairly by their employer.’
      • ‘Adults who opposed Mussolini were dealt with harshly.’
      • ‘Those who share the secret knowledge with the uninitiated are dealt with quickly and harshly, people like Lovecraft.’
      • ‘That being said, should there be any attempts at escape or if any of my staff should be attacked in any way, the perpetrator will be dealt with very harshly.’
      • ‘At times I felt we were harshly dealt with but I'm not putting that down as an excuse.’
      • ‘If Bennett had his way, those who did not hold his views would be dealt with very harshly indeed.’
      • ‘Personally, I believe that players who are caught using any type of performance enhancer should be dealt with more harshly than they are by most leagues.’
      • ‘The authorities had forced students to do household chores and those who resisted were cruelly dealt with, Mr. Augustine said.’
      • ‘After all, as every child knows, they have plenty of rights to prevent them from being dealt with too severely.’
      • ‘She said: ‘It is important that people who think they are above the law, and use guns to instill fear in the public, are dealt with harshly.’’
      treat, handle, serve, use
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    3. 3.3Have relations with (a person or organization), especially in a commercial context.
      ‘the bank deals directly with the private sector’
      • ‘Although the company deals mainly with the commercial sector, they will also supply green electricity to residential clients.’
      • ‘I have dealt with health practitioners from the legal point of view, and I have dealt with hospitals in relation to the Privacy Act.’
      • ‘A public relations company dealing with the Plaza declined to confirm whether the rumours were true.’
      • ‘The concept of customer is used in this book in a wide sense to describe anyone who deals with a bank in relation to a banking service.’
      • ‘Why should not directors and shareholders dealing with each other in relation to the latter's shares be treated as operating at arm's length?’
    4. 3.4Take or have as a subject; discuss.
      ‘the novel deals with several different topics’
      • ‘Bloggers already dealt this year with so-called disenfranchised men whining that they need their own TV network.’
      • ‘The next section deals with the surgical situations where facial nerve is at risk.’
      • ‘Yeah, this book deals primarily with the boys' relationship with Diana.’
      • ‘The last decade of the twentieth century witnessed a proliferation of novels dealing with the subject of music.’
      • ‘The first two chapters deal exclusively with economic theory.’
      • ‘The 180-page report deals in detail with all Irish and European law governing the labelling of food.’
      • ‘Each of the members present dealt at length on the projects they were involved in.’
      • ‘Today, however, virtually all philosophers agree that science deals exclusively with matters of contingent fact.’
      • ‘There is not space here to deal in detail with all the relevant issues.’
      • ‘Contemporary books dealing adequately with problems associated with Christian suffering are few and far between.’
      • ‘The story is lighthearted, romantic and fluffy while at the same time it deals with how one woman copes with a very difficult situation.’
      • ‘This book, by a scholar of literature, deals with a subject previously treated by historians.’
      • ‘Does your Honour wish me to deal in detail with the special leave questions?’
      • ‘Three articles deal with different aspects of Yiddish theater.’
      • ‘There were an impressive collection of articles dealing with fascinating incidents.’
      • ‘The subcommittee's report deals in detail with the need to train more orthodontists to work in the public sector.’
      • ‘A short chapter deals all too briefly with the history of women's involvement in war.’
      • ‘The meeting dealt with matters concerning the Special Olympics and the visitors from Chad who will be visiting Swinford prior to the games.’
      • ‘It is a molecular study, but discusses and deals with morphological information in a reasonable way.’
  • 4[with two objects] Inflict (a blow) on (someone or something)

    ‘hopes of an economic recovery were dealt another blow’
    • ‘Another of South Africa's up-and-coming African players was dealt a rather unlucky blow this week.’
    • ‘This is quite obviously just another form of harassment dealt by the state.’
    • ‘But their newfound romance is soon dealt a bit of a curveball when Lenni's conniving, interfering mother is inadvertently killed - or was she?’
    • ‘Stainforth is just one of the communities that will be dealt a body blow if Hatfield colliery shuts.’
    • ‘The timing of the pressure struck a raw nerve here, one that was still aching when Turkish lawmakers finally took up the request Saturday and dealt it a surprise defeat.’
    • ‘They reportedly heard their mother arguing with the perpetrator and attempted to intervene, when he dealt several chops to the sisters.’
    • ‘Apparently ‘marriage as we know it’ has been dealt a ‘death blow’.’
    • ‘Dozens of arts and culture groups have been dealt a devastating blow by the provincial government's cancellation of the Community Lottery Board Grant Program.’
    • ‘The revival was halted when they were dealt another two-pronged setback.’
    • ‘One of Stob Chon's men challenged Rob Roy to a duel, and dealt the aging rebel a wound to the arm from which he never recovered.’
    • ‘It's taken fourteen months to repair the damage dealt by that troublesome toe and Britain desperately need a third singles player or a specialist doubles team to act as a safety net in the future.’
    • ‘The Scottish economy has been dealt a new blow by figures that show exports have nosedived in the last quarter despite a solid performance from the rest of the UK.’
    • ‘They were modest, hard-working, genuine individuals, some of whom had triumphed over what life had dealt them and some of whom had simply felt compelled to do something.’
    • ‘Second, even if one were to say that the bombers were merely responding to the injustice dealt their brethren, are bombs a justified response to heartfelt grievance?’
    • ‘Labour was dealt a bloody nose in Scotland by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP in a general election that saw its tally of Scottish seats fall to 40.’
    • ‘Odolorosa gioia (O dolorous joy) is emblematic of the composer's almost self-flagellating delight in the pain dealt by a cruel lover.’
    • ‘The recent bus fare hike has dealt yet another blow to the travelling public.’
    • ‘Hopefully then they'll feel really petty and ashamed that they're taking their rage out on a small child whose only crime is to remind them of the disappointments life has dealt them.’
    • ‘Many people justify their severe punishments of the children in their care, by making references to their own childhood, when they were dealt harsher punishments.’
    • ‘King Abdullah of Jordan dealt a rebuff to President Bush on Monday, abruptly putting off his visit to Washington scheduled for later this week.’
    deliver, administer, dispense, inflict, give, impose
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  • 1An agreement entered into by two or more parties for their mutual benefit, especially in a business or political context.

    ‘the band signed a major recording deal’
    • ‘It's been reported that you're pursuing book deals, commercial sponsorship deals…’
    • ‘The time is favourable for businessmen to enter into new deals.’
    • ‘Financial matters and business deals are arranged according to your directions.’
    • ‘It was the deal the parties had mutually agreed to enter into when they first agreed to cohabit.’
    • ‘A little-known singer-songwriter has secured a multi-million pound record deal and television advertising contract.’
    • ‘But he got caught up in some shady real estate deals involving car lots.’
    • ‘Successive attempts to broker a peace deal have failed.’
    • ‘Mr Firth said that Yorkshire business people were also becoming better networkers and he expected many businesses to benefit from deals secured at the event.’
    • ‘I like what I do and I've been involved in a number of deals, negotiations and business transactions which have proved satisfying.’
    • ‘The fair, he said, generally ‘is the key to our business,’ producing deals that account for half of his company's sales.’
    • ‘It was difficult ‘for people from the traditional and conservative professions to understand how these business deals are made’.’
    • ‘Bolton's Business Network International is currently enjoying a boom, successfully negotiating deals worth hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.’
    • ‘Venturi has another year left on his contract, but McCarthy's deal expires in March.’
    • ‘This is a lousy week for mundane affairs, like balancing your chequebook, looking for a job or negotiating a business deal.’
    • ‘This is due to the government's incorrigible tendency to downplay the costs and exaggerate the benefits of the deal.’
    • ‘The pipeline is more than just a business deal, it's also highly political, because it's about access to oil.’
    • ‘The best that was on the market, Luis Castillo, signed a three-year lucrative deal with the Marlins yesterday.’
    • ‘Congratulations are also in order for the other parties in the deal: the governments of British Columbia and Canada.’
    • ‘She has expressed concern at the government's multibillion-rand arms deals in the face of growing poverty.’
    • ‘The loss of Labour's majority in last week's local elections has upped the political stakes as opposition parties try to negotiate the best deal.’
    agreement, understanding, pact, compact, bargain, covenant, contract, treaty, protocol, concordat, entente, accord, arrangement, accommodation, compromise, settlement, negotiation
    transaction, sale
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    1. 1.1An attractive price on a commodity for a purchaser; a bargain.
      ‘we've got great deals on the latest camcorders’
      • ‘The fact that I already have a mortgage, and indeed was quite capable of finding an attractive deal for myself, seemed to matter little.’
      • ‘Tickets were being offered on a two-for-the-price-of-one deal.’
      • ‘Finding a special laptop deal or price is within every shopper's reach.’
      • ‘If you have a tough decision on whom to keep among two or three guys, maybe you can pull a two-for-one deal and net a little better option.’
      • ‘I regularly switch gas and electricity providers, depending on best deals available.’
      • ‘The deal is attractive for the housing association, which has not been named, as it will give a guaranteed level of income for a considerable period of time.’
      • ‘It seems the Abbey boss spoke to a couple of the more likely contenders but couldn't get any to put forward a deal even remotely as attractive.’
      • ‘There are some important factors to consider if you want to get the best deal or price on your next computer.’
      • ‘Ignore the adverts on the telly and find the best deal available for you.’
      • ‘Finally, we should face the fact that health insurance is not an attractive deal for many young, healthy people.’
      • ‘SIR - It would seem to me that Bradford Council have done a discount deal on a bulk purchase of traffic lights.’
      • ‘Looking for a bargain deal for your used camera or the piece of furniture which is too big for your new house?’
      • ‘But it's not just the big bargains I love, I get just as much of a high from a two-for-the-price-of-one deal at Iceland.’
      • ‘Consumers, on the face of it, will be offered an attractive deal.’
      • ‘Many of the larger chains offer a deal if you purchase a large popcorn and a large drink together.’
      • ‘Whether you like to spend your holidays in the snow, sand or seaside, you can find the best hotel deals in the most popular destinations of the world.’
      • ‘I don't usually quote prices but at $24.95 it's a deal.’
      • ‘Indeed their prices now seem quite expensive, when compared to other deals available.’
      • ‘To make the deal even more attractive, the fuel could be offered at reduced prices.’
      • ‘He'd lost only two men to their fourteen, and he decided it was a hell of a deal considering the price those wagons had been carrying.’
    2. 1.2[with adjective]A particular form of treatment given or received.
      ‘working mothers get a raw deal’
      • ‘Women have a particularly bad deal in the cancer stakes, according to Greaves.’
      • ‘So it's a bad deal all around when the rights to associate are snuffed out or aren't granted in these countries.’
      • ‘The councillor, like his Labour predecessor, points out that this city gets a bad deal from Whitehall.’
      • ‘A Conservative government with its ridiculous position of re-negotiating agreed treaties will only result in a bad deal for Britain.’
      • ‘It is a thoroughly bad deal for our workers and our businesses.’
      • ‘Ask those closest to the action if Scottish players get a better deal from the current boss.’
      • ‘In the meantime Esco workers will be stuck with a bad deal.’
      • ‘The mark guarantees workers such as tea pluckers in Sri Lanka and banana farmers in the Windward Islands receive a reasonable deal.’
      • ‘The expectations are not always met and we always want to believe that we are at the receiving end of a bad deal all the time.’
      • ‘Dr Bass manages to combine humility with humanity and while he never exactly makes me feel good about having cancer, I feel that together we can make the best of a bad deal.’
      • ‘And that means that any increase in taxes or cuts in benefits would lead to an already bad deal becoming much worse.’
      • ‘He was born with so much talent, the sporting life has made him extremely rich, yet there is too often the sense of a man who believes he has been dealt a bad deal.’
      • ‘In the meantime, however, Jantzie says the situation appears to be a bad deal for the teachers.’
      • ‘We were simply a resolute group of people determined to make the very best of a very bad deal.’
      • ‘Republicans often argue that Social Security is a bad deal for African-Americans.’
      • ‘Compared to members of other unitary authorities, Swindon councillors get a bad deal.’
      • ‘If the offender thinks that he is getting a bad deal, he can always get redress in the courts.’
      • ‘Jayamma felt she had a bad deal, but she didn't see any way of changing it.’
  • 2A significant but unspecified amount of something.

    ‘he lost a great deal of blood’
    • ‘A great deal of this knowledge you have acquired by observation and study but a lot must be inherent good taste.’
    • ‘A great deal of prejudice and stereotyping is involved in their understanding.’
    • ‘A great deal of trial and error takes place as a young child learns a language.’
    • ‘A great deal of the pleasure in the film is in this sense of being tickled with sight and sound in unexpected ways.’
    • ‘A great deal of energy is embodied in building materials, such as cement, steel and bricks.’
    • ‘A great deal of chemical information is contained in the Periodic Table.’
    • ‘A great deal of time and effort has gone into making it easier for people to live a more normal life during their treatment.’
    • ‘A great deal of time and attention has been put toward terrestrial conservation issues in the past few decades.’
    • ‘A great deal of the skill that managers had was learned in the military.’
    • ‘A great deal of commotion broke out as people jumped out of their seats and scrambled to get over to their friends.’
    • ‘A great deal of distance had to be placed between himself and that watery room.’
    • ‘A great deal of correspondence and over four years of effort was needed to complete the stories.’
    • ‘A great deal of energy, hate, sorrow revolved around my focus on him, who was the most important person in my life at the time.’
    • ‘A great deal of the cacao consumed in eighteenth century Europe came from Caracas.’
    • ‘A great deal of the money that we spend in public schools goes into staff salaries and benefits.’
    • ‘A great deal of our time was spent in speculating if the atmosphere on her planet was just thinner than ours.’
    • ‘A great deal of what Morelly had to say had already been said by Thomas More.’
    • ‘A great deal of the toys their children own were bought on sale or by relatives.’
    • ‘A great deal of hazing went on between older and younger students, the older ones giving and the younger ones taking.’
    • ‘A great deal of the joy of gardening, for me, lies in the creative challenge.’
  • 3[in singular] The process of distributing the cards to players in a card game.

    • ‘The card that was flipped up at the end of the deal is also trump.’
    • ‘The four cards that are left over at the end of the deal are set aside until the end of the hand.’
    • ‘The deal: the dealer deals 6 cards for the nest and the rest is dealt out to the players.’
    • ‘The first deal and the bidding are as in the six-player game, and the high bidder names trump.’
    • ‘During the deal, six cards are to be placed face down in the centre of the table to form a kitty.’
    • ‘Occasionally it happens that a red three is turned up at the end of the deal as a start card for the discard pile.’
    • ‘The 11 th card in the deal is turned face up, and placed on top of the trump/rank pile.’
    • ‘In the old days, maybe a few hundred dollars rode on the last deal of a card in five stud or five draw.’
    • ‘After the deal there is an auction in which players bid the number of points their team will try to win.’
    • ‘After the deal but before the players pick up their cards, the top card of each hand is turned up.’
    • ‘Older machines took 10 cards - the five needed for the deal and the five that might be needed for the draw.’
    • ‘No more cards will be drawn from the stock until the next deal.’
    • ‘The player who received the first card from the deal may be known as eldest hand, or as forehand.’
    1. 3.1A player's turn to distribute cards.
      • ‘Once all cards have been played, the deal rotates in a clockwise fashion.’
      • ‘It's your deal now," said one of the men, under his breath, "and see that this time you deal from the top."’
      • ‘If both players pass, the bones are thrown in and the deal passes to the next player.’
      • ‘In baccarat the deal goes counterclockwise around the table from player to player.’
      • ‘It was the last hand of the night and it was my deal.’
      • ‘After each hand, the deal passes to next player to the left of the previous dealer who is still in.’
    2. 3.2The round of play following this.
      • ‘This can be done at any time during the deal by an active player who has a card matching their score.’
      • ‘From the second deal onwards, players form partnerships according to their scores.’
      • ‘In the first deal, the player who holds the three of hearts leads to the first trick.’
      • ‘So even if you fold, you may still get the chance to win the current pot on the following deal.’
      • ‘The overall chances of drawing a certain card in the deal is the sum of these’
      • ‘If you draw a card of the trump rank during the deal, you are not obliged to expose it immediately or at all.’
    3. 3.3The set of hands dealt to the players.
      • ‘As usual, it is suggested that the reader copies the deal and follows the play.’
      • ‘There may be cards left on the table after everyone has played their cards from the first deal.’
      • ‘If all four players pass, the deal is abandoned, and the next dealer deals.’


  • a big deal

    • 1informal [usually with negative]A thing considered important.

      ‘they don't make a big deal out of minor irritations’
      • ‘The impact tilted it about four inches, not such a big deal to fix.’
      • ‘It's a bit of a waste, given that Merkin makes such a big deal over the fact that Munro rarely gives interviews.’
      • ‘So it's not as big a deal among the players as what some people might think.’
      • ‘She didn't make a big deal of it, but I noticed it, and I think it was a symbolic gesture of what was in her mind.’
      • ‘Flying was not a big deal for me until an incident a couple of years ago.’
      • ‘Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but after that incident I felt physically ill.’
      • ‘But as a rugby league player and as a supporter, I don't necessarily think that it's going to be a big deal.’
      • ‘It was a big deal to players in my era because we only ever got paid £8 a week!’
      • ‘There was an air of acceptance that this is just how some people are and that, really, it's just not a big deal.’
      • ‘In those days cataracts were a big deal - she had surgery, and had to keep her head still for three days.’
      • ‘A few years ago you had Gogh Van Go, everybody made a big deal about them - where the hell are they now?’
      • ‘Failing to cover such an important community event would not be a big deal if a local radio station was on air.’
      • ‘She finds driving around in places she isn't familiar with pretty stressful, so it is kind of a big deal!’
      • ‘Perhaps it shouldn't matter, except that the IPCC made such a big deal of the results at the time.’
      • ‘One of them ricocheted off a wall and hit my leg, but that wasn't a big deal, I didn't even have a bruise.’
      • ‘We purposely didn't make a big deal of the twenty-fifth because we think every year is important.’
      • ‘As you might imagine, this is quite a big deal for landowners, and is important to keep sites open.’
      • ‘It reminded me of when I left Scotland, which is a big deal for a Scot.’
      • ‘Salles just gets on and tells the story without making a big deal of the beautiful landscape or the moral awakening of the two young men.’
      • ‘The journalist kept asking if other children at school were really rotten to me, and I kept saying that it wasn't a big deal at all.’
      1. 1.1An important person.
        ‘Sam Kinison became a big deal’
        • ‘I think I finally get why everyone thinks he's such a big deal.’
        • ‘But the wheel has turned full circle, and Dillon is once again a big deal.’
        • ‘Lately, she's become a big deal in the growing alternative movement.’
        • ‘Bowie and friends became a big deal, and Mick Rock along with them.’
      2. 1.2Used to express one's contempt for something regarded as impressive or important by another person.
        • ‘But even if she was looking up something slightly more unsavoury, again, big deal.’
        • ‘But big deal, it's a matter of time before a company like that one goes more commercial.’
        • ‘He didn't turn into anything except human, whoo hoo big deal!’
        • ‘So you might get a black eye - big deal, that's the last resort of a thick bully who has no more words to throw, but you still win.’
        • ‘If he yells and waves his arms around too much to make a convincing weather girl, big deal.’
        • ‘OK, so big deal you say, but honestly, a few years ago you had to go out of town for this stuff.’
  • a good (or great) deal

    • 1A large amount.

      ‘I don't know a great deal about politics’
      • ‘There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom.’
      • ‘The reason why we are in the middle of such a cold epoch has a great deal to do with the positioning of the land masses.’
      • ‘Over the years, through a fair number of house deals, I've got to know a good deal about the process.’
      • ‘Here, indubitably, is a fellow with a great deal to prove to a great many people.’
      • ‘There was genuine appreciation for what is happening here and we now have a great deal to shout about.’
      • ‘Most biospheric carbon is already in the oceans anyway, and they can take a good deal more.’
      • ‘He will need time to settle at his new club where it must be hoped he contributes a great deal more than he did at the one he has left.’
      • ‘Her outward appearance was no more than a child of sixteen, but she was, in reality, a good deal over five hundred.’
      • ‘It is a very significant cost, and represents a good deal more than the software alone.’
      • ‘It says a great deal about a record when its most interesting aspect is the cover art.’
      • ‘I think in the aspect of being a person who has a great deal to overcome and a great amount of love to give.’
      • ‘My family had the good sense to leave England three hundred years ago, but I still know a good deal about the sport.’
      • ‘While some things have become clearer, a great deal else has become far more confusing.’
      • ‘We owe our elderly residents a great deal for seeing us through the war years.’
      • ‘We have achieved a great deal in the past two years, but we are not complacent.’
      • ‘They are rarely in control of all that goes on in front of and behind the camera and thus have to leave a great deal to fate.’
      • ‘The defeat owes a great deal to the Labour loyalties of the leader.’
      • ‘It has a great deal to offer whether you are searching for adventure, culture or peace and quiet.’
      • ‘We want to teach patients they have a role too - they can do a great deal to make themselves safe.’
      • ‘He could talk the ears off a donkey, and he has a great deal to say.’
      a lot, a great amount, a large amount, a fair amount, much, plenty
      lots, loads, heaps, bags, masses, piles, stacks, tons
      a shedload
      a shitload
      an assload
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1To a considerable extent.
        ‘she had gotten to know him a good deal better’
        • ‘The second reason seems to be a good deal more plausible than the first.’
        • ‘Frequent audits of teachers have rendered them a great deal more serious about what they do.’
        • ‘This book is a good deal better than most, and a good deal easier to read.’
        • ‘The autism appeal may have achieved a great deal, but there is still a great deal more that needs to be done.’
        • ‘I think this new funding will help a great deal with mental health across Scotland.’
        • ‘In that time, I have become a good deal less sure of myself, a good deal more humble.’
        • ‘The experience depressed and scared him a great deal so it wouldn't really surprise me.’
  • cut a deal

    • informal Come to an arrangement, especially in business; make a deal.

      • ‘However, my blogger training permitted me to notice that the U.S. was cutting a deal on generic medicines in advance of the Cancun trade talks.’
      • ‘It's a really blatant case of government cutting a deal for big business against the public interest.’
      • ‘While I think the logic of ‘pay-as-you-go’ is deeply flawed and I do not embrace it, what's wrong with cutting a deal that ‘pays’ for tax cuts with more spending cuts?’
      • ‘Doing this requires either cutting a deal with one of the floating parties, or gobbling the center.’
      • ‘Negotiations get serious, and the infant US is faced with the choice of either cutting a deal or fighting on alone.’
      • ‘They fight over their share of the surplus rather than cutting a deal, precisely because they have future bargains in mind (with other parties too).’
      • ‘They parted company earlier this year without cutting a deal.’
      • ‘And the father pleads guilty to a long sentence, purportedly to help his son, but without actually cutting a deal with prosecutors to help his son, for reasons that are obscure.’
      • ‘So what if it means cutting a deal with the same drug dealers, pimps, bookies and murderers you busted earlier in the week?’
      • ‘By trying to lock in too many controls before cutting a deal, techies argue, Hollywood is alienating customers and slowing the growth of a huge new digital audience.’
    • informal Make an agreement.

      ‘he had gone to the board of directors with his new robot design and cut a deal’
      • ‘A lot of the time the lawyers have to cut a deal because their evidence isn't good enough or can't be admitted for some seemingly spurious legal reason.’
      • ‘Two sides have cut a deal to attack and destroy the third.’
      • ‘Dialogue with both countries to cut a deal will commence in secret (although what this will accomplish is still unknown).’
      • ‘Rock band U2 has cut a deal with Apple Computer to sell custom iPods promoting the band's forthcoming album.’
      • ‘All sides are trying to cut a deal.’
  • it's a deal

    • informal Used to express one's assent to an agreement.

      • ‘‘Fine, it's a deal, Miss Heartslain,’ Baldwin said before offering a handshake.’
      • ‘If it means we don't have to go out with you, love, it's a deal.’
      • ‘You don't threaten me anymore and it's a deal.’
      • ‘‘Okay then, it's a deal,’ I said, although I had no clue on earth what I could bring to show him in return.’
      • ‘I smiled half-heartedly and nodded, ‘All right, Ry, it's a deal.’’
      • ‘‘Okay, it's a deal then,’ I agreed and gave a sunny laugh.’
      • ‘She hesitated a moment before curiosity got the better of her and she agreed, ‘All right, it's a deal.’’
      • ‘Okay, if you can come up with another 200,000 units and make delivery by August 1, it's a deal.’
      • ‘And Gorbachev said, it's a deal, or however he would say that in Russian.’
      • ‘If you can include some of the irrelevant information, too, then it's a deal.’
      • ‘‘Then it's a deal,’ she said, smiling and putting her hand on my shoulder.’
      • ‘If you stay with me for the rest of this evening, it's a deal.’
  • no big deal

    • informal Used to indicate that something is of little consequence.

      ‘We had a casual conversation about it. No big deal.’
      • ‘While the 5.1 mix is no big deal, the missing commentary track is irksome.’
      • ‘In pop music people have done over-dubbing for years, that's no big deal.’
      • ‘A business budget is no big deal, or need not be.’
      • ‘There's a few problems with the finer details, some really minor compression artifacts and motion blur but no big deal.’
      • ‘No big deal, I've got training tomorrow anyway.’
      • ‘The telephone is no big deal today, but 60 or 70 years ago learning telephone safety etiquette was a big deal.’
      • ‘Forgetting someone's name once, for example, is no big deal: Perpetually scrambling at the last minute to finish tasks, however, warrants a closer look at your behavior.’
      • ‘There is no big deal made of her Hispanic heritage, which is the way it should be.’
      • ‘If I don't get a soundcheck, it's no big deal.’
      • ‘That's fine for data, where a few milliseconds of lag time on a transcontinental journey is no big deal.’
  • the deal

    • informal The situation or state of affairs.

      ‘what's the deal with you and that guy?’
      ‘big double standards exist, but he knows the deal’
      • ‘Everyone else on tour knew the deal with Michael except Jessica.’
      • ‘Here's the deal with the show.’
      • ‘Okay folks here is the deal.’
      • ‘In what I thought was a pretty charming way, I asked them what the deal with the buzzing was.’
      • ‘If we want fresh juices, we must understand the first rule of juicing: cleaning the juicer is an unavoidable part of the deal.’
      • ‘Gamblers feel smarter than they are because that's the deal; the drinks are always free in a casino, and no one calls you on your self-delusions.’
      • ‘Here's the deal: organizations are keeping their finances in order and students can hold them to it by paying attention.’
      • ‘What's the deal with your parents? Are they married or divorced?’
      • ‘What's the deal with Austin then, sounds pretty mad?’
      • ‘Just what is the deal with those recurring headaches, or Maria's sketchy past?’
      • ‘So what's the deal with you and Eric?’
  • the real deal

    • informal A person or thing considered to be a genuine or supremely good example of their kind.

      ‘their love affair seems pretty close to the real deal’
      ‘Craig is the real deal, an American running legend’
      • ‘To these traveling enthusiasts and collectors, Western art is the real deal, and the cowboy is their hero.’
      • ‘If their PR is to be believed, they are the real deal in rock.’
      • ‘Only rarely do you ever really stumble across a movie or get involved in a movie that's the real deal.’
      • ‘The biggest burden for a young band like the Vines is the curse of comparison, but the band are the real deal.’
      • ‘And according to Jon Newey, editor of Jazzwise, the UK's leading jazz magazine, she's the real deal.’
      • ‘With five years experience behind the desk, working with some of the scenes biggest players there is no doubting their credentials; these guys are the real deal.’
      • ‘She's the real deal; you don't spend time with Robbie without falling in love with her.’
      • ‘But, as the event drew nearer and details became more readily available, it seemed as though this was the real deal.’
      • ‘The general consensus from those who trained with him is that he was indeed the real deal.’
      • ‘She said she had looked at other companies that do what we do, had asked around about us, and had discovered that we were the real deal.’
      • ‘This bloke from Dublin is the real deal.’


Old English dǣlan divide participate of Germanic origin; related to Dutch deel and German Teil part (noun), also to dole. The sense divide gave rise to distribute hence deal and deal; the sense participate gave rise to have dealings with hence deal and deal.




Main definitions of deal in English

: deal1deal2



  • 1Fir or pine wood, especially when sawn into planks of a standard size.

    • ‘He still slept in his camp bed, and used a dining-table that he had made out of deal boards with four fencing posts for legs.’
    • ‘This has red deal timber flooring, wainscoting to dado level, a baluster railing and plaster cornicing.’
    • ‘The paved back court, under which the kitchen and scullery were situated, was to include at its northern end a ‘seat or small building’ with deal columns.’
    • ‘No matter how late the family worked, when finished Vera scrubbed the table, made from deal, with sand soap perfectly clean for the early breakfast the next morning.’
    1. 1.1A plank of fir or pine sawn into a standard size.
      • ‘Early in 1852, the price of New Brunswick spruce deals had to be reduced because of the competition from cheap Norwegian white deals.’
      • ‘In Britain and America, material was available in timber form, as plank, deals, board, and scantling.’
      • ‘In 1876 he loaded the schooner City of Manitowoc with pine deals in Manistee, Michigan and took them through the St. Lawrence River and across the ocean.’


Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch dele plank.