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.
    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

Synonym study

2. See agreement. 6. See trade. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bargain for

bargain for


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



an agreement or contract establishing what each party will give, receive, or perform in a transaction between them
something acquired or received in such an agreement
  1. something bought or offered at a low pricea bargain at an auction
  2. (as modifier)a bargain price
into the bargain or US in the bargain in excess of what has been stipulated; besides
make a bargain or strike a bargain to agree on terms


(intr) to negotiate the terms of an agreement, transaction, etc
(tr) to exchange, as in a bargain
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.