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[bahr-ter] /ˈbɑr tər/
verb (used without object)
to trade by exchange of commodities rather than by the use of money.
verb (used with object)
to exchange in trade, as one commodity for another; trade.
to bargain away unwisely or dishonorably (usually followed by away):
bartering away his pride for material gain.
the act or practice of bartering.
items or an item for bartering:
We arrived with new barter for the villagers.
Origin of barter
1400-50; late Middle English, apparently < Anglo-French, Old French bareter, barater (see barrator), with shift of sense
Related forms
barterer, noun
outbarter, verb (used with object)
unbartered, adjective
unbartering, adjective
1, 2. traffic. See trade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for barter
  • In some cases, a barter arrangement can be created to swap professional services.
  • Thrifty parents are finding plenty of places to barter on the Web.
  • Sometimes we'd barter with the Yanomami to get some fish they had caught.
  • My father owned a tire business and when he had customers who couldn't pay him for the tires, he put a “barter” system in place.
  • Indeed, the chronic shortage of foreign exchange was exacerbated by the end of barter trade and subsidized weaponry.
  • Capitalism isn't the same as mercantilism–trading goods and services via barter or money.
  • Some deals were done by barter.
  • No financial terms were disclosed, but the deals appeared to depend on mutually beneficial ad barter and service swaps.
  • Before long he was taking orders for barter from fellow inmates.
  • Farmers have no market for their produce and must barter for goods in neighboring Serbia or other cities.
British Dictionary definitions for barter


to trade (goods, services, etc) in exchange for other goods, services, etc, rather than for money: the refugees bartered for food
(intransitive) to haggle over the terms of such an exchange; bargain
trade by the exchange of goods
Derived Forms
barterer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French barater to cheat; perhaps related to Greek prattein to do
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for barter

mid-15c., apparently from Old French barater "to barter, cheat, deceive, haggle" (also, "to have sexual intercourse"), 12c., of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Celtic language (cf. Irish brath "treachery"). Connection between "trading" and "cheating" exists in several languages. Related: Bartered; bartering. The noun is first recorded 1590s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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barter in Culture

barter definition

The exchange of goods or services for other goods or services, rather than for money.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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