horse trading

the act or fact of conducting a shrewd exchange or engaging in a horse trade; bargaining.

1820–30, Americanism Unabridged


verb (used without object), horse-traded, horse-trading.
to bargain or trade shrewdly.

1820–30, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
horse trading
hard bargaining to obtain equal concessions by both sides in a dispute

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

horse trading

Negotiation marked by hard bargaining and shrewd exchange. For example, The restaurant owner is famous for his horse trading; he's just exchanged a month of free dinners for a month of free television commercials. This expression alludes to the notorious shrewdness of horse traders, who literally bought and sold horses. [c. 1820]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Everything else is subject to political horse trading and accusations of government meddling.
In the countryside they sometimes are engaged in farm labor, but more usually in horse trading.
The observations: they are horse trading at the moment.
Municipal horse trading, you might say in a way was made possible, for the benefit of both sides in any such arrangement.
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