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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bartering
  • She admitted that she'd accepted our campus visit simply in the hopes of obtaining an offer she could use as a bartering tool.
  • Psychologists have been studying cognitive bartering for some time, and several basics are well established.
  • bartering kidneys has the same problems as bartering anything else.
  • Silly suggestion of bartering considering how physicians operate in a market where insurance groups have monopsony power.
  • No-one wants to go back to gold or to bartering turnips for sheep.
  • We have a constant bartering system-it works out great.
  • Here the counterculture met the mountain culture and something unique was born: bartering.
  • The market offers opportunities to witness the bartering system.
  • Practice your bartering skills with vendors for an exciting interaction and lower price.
  • Today, bartering is an ideal corporate financing technique for large to midsize companies.
British Dictionary definitions for bartering


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 bartering



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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bartering 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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