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horse trade

a shrewdly conducted exchange, as of favors or objects, usually resulting from or accompanied by very close bargaining.
an exchanging or trading of horses.
Origin of horse trade
1840-50, Americanism


[hawrs-treyd] /ˈhɔrsˌtreɪd/
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for horse-trade
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a suit between two farmers who had had a disagreement over a horse-trade.

  • Truth, it seemed, might be absent or present in a horse-trade, but mystery was essential.

    Buying a Horse William Dean Howells
  • I took time to explain how I had made a raise, and about the horse-trade.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • I can get a margin off most any man in the West on a horse-trade, but I'd look shy about doing a trade with him.

  • They both remembered that Hennard was close by at the time of the quarrel over the horse-trade.

    Two Little Savages Ernest Thompson Seton
  • For there, it is said, no boy is permitted to leave home on a horse enterprise until he has cheated his father in a horse-trade.

    The Memories of Fifty Years William H. Sparks

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