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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

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Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.

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negotiate

July 6th, 2016

Episode 577 of 720 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 6, 2016 is: negotiate \nih-GOH-shee-ayt\ verb 1 : to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter; also : to arrange for or bring about by such conferences 2 : to transfer to another by delivery or endorsement in return for equivalent value 3 : to get through, around, or over successfully Examples: Our driver had lived on the island all her life, and was adept at negotiating the narrow, winding roads along the island's coast. "In recent years, however, using the courts to negotiate'fair value' has become a full-time industry for investment funds and lawyers looking for a quick score." — Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, 7 June 2016 Did you know? For the first 250 years of its life, negotiate had meanings that hewed pretty closely to its Latin root, negotiari, meaning "to carry on business." Around the middle of the 19th century, though, it developed the meaning "to successfully travel along or over." Although this sense was criticized in the New York Sun in 1906 as a "barbarism creeping into the language," and Henry Fowler's 1926 A Dictionary of Modern English Usage declared that any writer who used it was "literally a barbarian," it has thrived and is now fully established.

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