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an advantageous purchase, especially one acquired at less than the usual cost:
The sale offered bargains galore.
an agreement between parties settling what each shall give and take or perform and receive in a transaction.
such an agreement as affecting one of the parties:
a losing bargain.
something acquired by bargaining.
Informal. an agreeable person, especially one who causes no trouble or difficulty (usually used in negative constructions):
His boss is no bargain.
to discuss the terms of a bargain; haggle; negotiate.
to come to an agreement; make a bargain:
We bargained on a three-year term.
to arrange by bargain; negotiate:
to bargain a new wage increase.
to anticipate as likely to occur; expect (usually followed by a clause):
I’ll bargain that he’s going to give those company directors plenty of trouble.
bargain for, to anticipate or take into account:
The job turned out to be more than he had bargained for.
bargain on, to expect or anticipate; count or rely on:
You can’t bargain on what she’ll do in this situation.
in / into the bargain, over and above what has been stipulated; moreover; besides:
The new housekeeper proved to be a fine cook in the bargain.
strike a bargain, to make a bargain; agree to terms:
They were unable to strike a bargain because the owner’s asking price was more than the prospective buyer could afford.
Contemporary Examples

Some bargaining went on—more judgments against Jerry Lee, more liens.
The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis Richard Ben Cramer January 10, 2014

And yet, the owners have now, twice, asked for an extension to the expiration date of the Current bargaining Agreement.
Three Outcomes of the NFL Contract Talks Allen Barra March 4, 2011

That victory for the tab became a bargaining chip in all future dealings with the superstar.
I Warned You About Bill Cosby in 2007 Mark Ebner November 19, 2014

Instead of seeing it as a bargaining chip, perhaps we should treat the GOP proposal as a serious governing document.
How Republicans Screwed the Pooch Paul Begala July 30, 2011

IDF fears they will be kidnapped to be used as bargaining chips.
Israel to Simulate Chemical Attack By Suicide Bomber Orly Halpern December 4, 2013

Historical Examples

“You’ll pay me cash, of course,” Captain Dove stipulated, as though he had been bargaining about a charter-party.
The White Blackbird Hudson Douglas

The card-players have plunged suddenly in medias res of bargaining.
Camps, Quarters and Casual Places Archibald Forbes

It was his ultimatum as regards price and its acceptance—they had been bargaining all the time.
An Australian in China George Ernest Morrison

And he, ‘I do not feel like chaffering and bargaining this morning.’
The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani

I paid a month in advance without any bargaining, and in a day I had settled in my new lodging.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

an agreement or contract establishing what each party will give, receive, or perform in a transaction between them
something acquired or received in such an agreement

something bought or offered at a low price: a bargain at an auction
(as modifier): a bargain price

into the bargain, (US) in the bargain, in excess of what has been stipulated; besides
make a bargain, strike a bargain, to agree on terms
(intransitive) to negotiate the terms of an agreement, transaction, etc
(transitive) to exchange, as in a bargain
to arrive at (an agreement or settlement)

late 14c., from Old French bargaignier (12c., Modern French barguigner) “to haggle over the price,” perhaps from Frankish *borganjan “to lend” or some other Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *borgan (cf. Old High German borgen; Old English borgian, source of borrow). Another suggestion is that the French word comes from Late Latin barca “a barge,” because it “carries goods to and fro.” There are difficulties with both suggestions. Related: Bargained; bargaining.

mid-14c., “business transaction or agreement,” also “that which is acquired by bargaining,” from Old French bargaine, from bargaignier (see bargain (v.)). Meaning “article priced for special sale” is from 1899. A bargain basement (1899) originally was a basement floor in a store where bargains were displayed.

Related Terms

no bargain
In addition to the idiom beginning with


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    noun the range of topics within the scope of a particular set of negotiations leading to a collective agreement

  • Barge

    a capacious, flat-bottomed vessel, usually intended to be pushed or towed, for transporting freight or passengers; lighter. a vessel of state used in pageants: elegantly decorated barges on the Grand Canal in Venice. Navy. a boat reserved for a flag officer. a boat that is heavier and wider than a shell, often used in racing […]

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