See more synonyms for bargain on
  1. an advantageous purchase, especially one acquired at less than the usual cost: The sale offered bargains galore.
  2. an agreement between parties settling what each shall give and take or perform and receive in a transaction.
  3. such an agreement as affecting one of the parties: a losing bargain.
  4. something acquired by bargaining.
  5. Informal. an agreeable person, especially one who causes no trouble or difficulty (usually used in negative constructions): His boss is no bargain.
verb (used without object)
  1. to discuss the terms of a bargain; haggle; negotiate.
  2. to come to an agreement; make a bargain: We bargained on a three-year term.
verb (used with object)
  1. to arrange by bargain; negotiate: to bargain a new wage increase.
  2. to anticipate as likely to occur; expect (usually followed by a clause): I'll bargain that he's going to give those company directors plenty of trouble.
Verb Phrases
  1. bargain for, to anticipate or take into account: The job turned out to be more than he had bargained for.
  2. bargain on, to expect or anticipate; count or rely on: You can't bargain on what she'll do in this situation.
  1. in/into the bargain, over and above what has been stipulated; moreover; besides: The new housekeeper proved to be a fine cook in the bargain.
  2. strike a bargain, to make a bargain; agree to terms: They were unable to strike a bargain because the owner's asking price was more than the prospective buyer could afford.

Origin of bargain

1300–50; (v.) Middle English bargaynen < Anglo-French, Old French bargai(g)ner, probably < Frankish *borganjan, extended form of Germanic *borgan (compare Old High German bor(a)gēn to look after, Middle High German, German borgen to lend, borrow); (noun) Middle English bargayn < Anglo-French, Old French bargai(g)ne, bargain, noun derivative of the v.; o > a in 1st syllable is unexplained
Related formsbar·gain·a·ble, adjectivebar·gain·er, nounout·bar·gain, verb (used with object)pre·bar·gain, verb (used with object)pro·bar·gain·ing, adjectiveun·bar·gained, adjective

Synonyms for bargain

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

2. See agreement. 6. See trade. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bargain for

anticipate, contemplate, foresee, imagine

British Dictionary definitions for bargain for

bargain for

  1. (intr, preposition) to expect; anticipate (a style of behaviour, change in fortune, etc)he got more than he bargained for


  1. an agreement or contract establishing what each party will give, receive, or perform in a transaction between them
  2. something acquired or received in such an agreement
  3. US
    1. something bought or offered at a low pricea bargain at an auction
    2. (as modifier)a bargain price
  4. into the bargain or US in the bargain in excess of what has been stipulated; besides
  5. make a bargain or strike a bargain to agree on terms
  1. (intr) to negotiate the terms of an agreement, transaction, etc
  2. (tr) to exchange, as in a bargain
  3. to arrive at (an agreement or settlement)
Derived Formsbargainer, nounbargaining, noun, adjective

Word Origin for bargain

C14: from Old French bargaigne, from bargaignier to trade, of Germanic origin; compare Medieval Latin barcāniāre to trade, Old English borgian to borrow
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

Word Origin and History for bargain for



mid-14c., "business transaction or agreement," also "that which is acquired by bargaining," from Old French bargaine, from bargaignier (see bargain (v.)). Meaning "article priced for special sale" is from 1899. A bargain basement (1899) originally was a basement floor in a store where bargains were displayed.



late 14c., from Old French bargaignier (12c., Modern French barguigner) "to haggle over the price," perhaps from Frankish *borganjan "to lend" or some other Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *borgan (cf. Old High German borgen; Old English borgian, source of borrow). Another suggestion is that the French word comes from Late Latin barca "a barge," because it "carries goods to and fro." There are difficulties with both suggestions. Related: Bargained; bargaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bargain for

bargain for


Also, bargain over. Negotiate about something, usually a price. For example, In open-air markets it is standard practice to bargain for the best price. [Late 1300s]


Also, bargain on. Expect, be prepared for, as in In planning the picnic, we hadn't bargained for bad weather, or I hadn't bargained on John's coming along. [c. 1800] For a synonym, see count on.


In addition to the idiom beginning with bargain

  • bargain for

also see:

  • drive a bargain
  • into the bargain
  • make the best of it (a bad bargain)
  • more than one bargained for
  • strike a bargain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.