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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.
Synonym Study
1, 2. See trade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bartered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Each 'phratry' then bartered a sub-class of its own for a sub-class of its partner.

  • How if I have bartered my fortune for a few pieces of money?'

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • Surely he had bartered his soul for a very inadequate mess of pottage.

    Halcyone Elinor Glyn
  • Do you think I am a slave or a human chattel to be bartered away like that?

    The Romance of Golden Star ... George Chetwynd Griffith
  • He bought nothing for his own pleasure or comfort, nothing which could not be sold or bartered again.

    The Shuttle Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • As a boy I should have dreamed about it, schemed for it, bartered my immortal soul for it.

    A Far Country, Complete Winston Churchill
  • She sold permission to commit sin and bartered for gold charters of indulgent forgiveness for sins already done.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • The most valuable objects which were bartered were metals and wood.

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • Part of Jorrocks's half-quartern loaf was bartered with the captain of an East Indiaman for a slice of buffalo-beef.

    Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities Robert Smith Surtees
British Dictionary definitions for bartered


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 bartered



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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bartered 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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