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[dik-er] /ˈdɪk ər/
verb (used without object)
to deal, swap, or trade with petty bargaining; bargain; haggle.
to barter.
to try to arrange matters by mutual bargaining:
They dickered for hours over some of the finer points of the contract.
a petty bargain.
a barter or swap.
an item or goods bartered or swapped.
a deal, especially a political deal.
Origin of dicker1
1795-1805; perhaps v. use of dicker2


[dik-er] /ˈdɪk ər/
the number or quantity ten, especially a lot of ten hides or skins.
1225-75; Middle English diker < Old French dacre, Medieval Latin dikeria; compare Latin decuria decury Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dicker
Contemporary Examples
  • The only thing America lacks is a tough, take no prisoners "Negotiator-in-Chief" to dicker America's way to the top again.

Historical Examples
  • Such critics had come to Washington, had made their "dicker," danced at the hotel hops, and been jostled on the Avenue.

  • "I'm a hustler on a dicker, and a hellion on junk," snapped the boss.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • "I don't quite see where the money is to come from," observed Mr. dicker.

    Stories by American Authors (Volume 4) Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • Published tariffs were only the starting point for "higgle" and "dicker."

  • They say he's been too free with concessions; and they accuse him of trying to make a dicker with England to sell out the country.

  • Mrs. Eve settled that business for me when she made the dicker with the snake.

  • dicker was given to the study of astronomy, and it is related that he once gave a lecture on this subject in the Public Rooms.

    The Parish Clerk (1907) Peter Hampson Ditchfield
  • If overtook by a stouter force they're in shape fer a dicker.

    In the Days of Poor Richard Irving Bacheller
  • "I did not," confessed Mr. dicker, with a mixture of shame and abhorrence.

    Stories by American Authors (Volume 4) Constance Fenimore Woolson
British Dictionary definitions for dicker


to trade (goods) by bargaining; barter
(intransitive) to negotiate a political deal
  1. a petty bargain or barter
  2. the item or items bargained or bartered
a political deal or bargain
Word Origin
C12: ultimately from Latin decuriadecury; related to Middle Low German dēker lot of ten hides
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 dicker

"haggle, bargain in a petty way," 1802, American English, perhaps from dicker (n.) "a unit or package of tens," especially hides (attested from late 13c.), perhaps from Latin decuria "parcel of ten" (supposedly a unit of barter on the Roman frontier; cf. German Decher "set of ten things"), from decem "ten" (see ten) on model of centuria from centum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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