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[deel] /dil/
verb (used without object), dealt, dealing.
to occupy oneself or itself (usually followed by with or in):
Botany deals with the study of plants. He deals in generalities.
to take action with respect to a thing or person (followed by with):
Law courts must deal with lawbreakers.
to conduct oneself toward persons:
He deals fairly.
to be able to handle competently or successfully; cope (followed by with):
I can't deal with your personal problems.
to trade or do business (followed by with or in):
to deal with a firm; to deal in used cars.
to distribute, especially the cards in a game (often followed by out):
to deal out five hands of six cards each; your turn to deal.
Slang. to buy and sell drugs illegally.
Archaic. to have dealings or commerce, often in a secret or underhand manner (often followed by with):
to deal with the Devil.
verb (used with object), dealt, dealing.
to give to one as a share; apportion:
Deal me in.
to distribute among a number of recipients, as the cards required in a game:
Deal five cards to each player.
Cards. to give a player (a specific card) in dealing:
You dealt yourself four aces.
to deliver; administer:
to deal a blow.
Slang. to buy and sell (drugs) illegally.
Slang. to trade (an athlete) to another team.
a business transaction:
They closed the deal after a week of negotiating.
a bargain or arrangement for mutual advantage:
the best deal in town.
a secret or underhand agreement or bargain:
His supporters worked a number of deals to help his campaign.
Informal. treatment received in dealing with another:
He got a raw deal.
an indefinite but large quantity, amount, extent, or degree (usually preceded by good or great):
a good deal of work; a great deal of money.
  1. the distribution of cards to the players in a game.
  2. the set of cards in one's hand.
  3. the turn of a player to deal.
  4. the period of time during which a deal is played.
an act of dealing or distributing.
(initial capital letter) an economic and social policy pursued by a political administration:
the Fair Deal; the New Deal.
Obsolete. portion; share.
Verb phrases
deal off,
  1. Poker. to deal the final hand of a game.
  2. Slang. to get rid of or trade (something or someone) in a transaction.
cut a deal, Informal. to make an agreement, especially a business agreement:
Networks have cut a deal with foreign stations for an international hookup.
deal someone in, Slang. to include:
He was making a lot of dough in the construction business so I got him to deal me in.
Origin of deal1
before 900; (v.) Middle English delen, Old English dǣlan (cognate with German teilen), derivative of dǣl part (cognate with German Teil); (noun) in part derivative of the v.; (in defs 19, 23) Middle English deel, del(e), Old English dǣl
3. act, behave. 5. traffic. 10. allot, assign, dole; mete, dispense. 16. pact, contract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for cut a deal


verb deals, dealing, dealt (dɛlt)
(intransitive) foll by in. to engage (in) commercially: to deal in upholstery
(often foll by out) to apportion (something, such as cards) to a number of people; distribute
(transitive) to give (a blow) to (someone); inflict
(intransitive) (slang) to sell any illegal drug
(informal) a bargain, transaction, or agreement
a particular type of treatment received, esp as the result of an agreement: a fair deal
an indefinite amount, extent, or degree (esp in the phrases good or great deal)
  1. the process of distributing the cards
  2. a player's turn to do this
  3. a single round in a card game
See big deal
(informal, mainly US) cut a deal, to come to an arrangement; make a deal See also deal with
(informal) the real deal, a person or thing seen as being authentic and not inferior in any way
Word Origin
Old English dǣlan, from dǣl a part; compare Old High German teil a part, Old Norse deild a share


a plank of softwood timber, such as fir or pine, or such planks collectively
the sawn wood of various coniferous trees, such as that from the Scots pine (red deal) or from the Norway Spruce (white deal)
of fir or pine
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German dele plank; see thill


a town in SE England, in Kent, on the English Channel: two 16th-century castles: tourism, light industries. Pop: 96 670 (2003 est)
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 cut a deal



from Old English dæl "part, share, quantity, amount," from Proto-Germanic *dailaz (cf. Old Norse deild, Old Frisian del, Dutch deel, Old High German and German teil, Gothic dails "part, share"), from PIE *dail- "to divide" (cf. Old Church Slavonic delu "part," Lithuanian dalis).

Business sense of "transaction, bargain" is 1837, originally slang. Meaning "an amount" is from 1560s. New Deal is from F.D. Roosevelt speech of July 1932. Big deal is 1928; ironic use first recorded 1951 in "Catcher in the Rye." Deal breaker is attested by 1975.

"plank or board of pine," c.1400, from Low German (cf. Middle Low German dele), from Proto-Germanic *theljon, from PIE root *tel- "ground, floor." An Old English derivative was þelu "hewn wood, board, flooring."


Old English dælan "to divide, distribute, separate, share, bestow, dispense," from the source of deal (n.). Meaning "to distribute cards before a game" is from 1520s. To deal with "handle" is attested from mid-15c. Related: Dealt; dealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cut a deal

cut a deal

verb phrase

To make or conclude an arrangement; transact an agreement: Doesn't it make more sense to cut a deal with the Soviets?/ The city has done its entrepreneurial turn by cutting a deal with the Republicans in which it must approve all souvenirs (1970s+)



  1. A usually secret arrangement between politicians, rulers, business executives, etc: He made a deal with the Republicans to suppress the charges (1860s+)
  2. Situation; thing in hand or at issue; affair: Hey, what's the deal here? My car's gone/ The deal is that I'm tired of this sorry farce (1940+ Students)


  1. To make arrangements, tradeoffs, sales, etc; wheel and deal: Sophie did all the dealing there (1500s+)
  2. To sell narcotics; be a peddler (1920s+ Narcotics)
  3. To pitch a baseball •In the game of hurling, deal, ''throw the ball,'' is attested by 1602: The big lefthander deals a smoker (1970s+ Baseball)

Related Terms

big deal, good deal, make a big production, no big deal, not make deals, raw deal, sweetheart deal

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with cut a deal

cut a deal

Offer or arrange an agreement or compromise, as in The administration is hoping to cut a deal with Japan. This expression uses deal in the sense of “business transaction.” [ ; 1970s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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