[ bahr-ter ]
See synonyms for: barterbarteringbarterer on

verb (used without object)
  1. to trade by exchange of commodities rather than by the use of money.

verb (used with object)
  1. to exchange in trade, as one commodity for another; trade.

  2. to bargain away unwisely or dishonorably (usually followed by away): bartering away his pride for material gain.

  1. the act or practice of bartering.

  2. 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

synonym study For barter

1, 2. See trade.

Other words for barter

Other words from barter

  • bar·ter·er, noun
  • outbarter, verb (used with object)
  • un·bar·tered, adjective
  • un·bar·ter·ing, adjective

Words Nearby barter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barter


/ (ˈbɑːtə) /

  1. to trade (goods, services, etc) in exchange for other goods, services, etc, rather than for money: the refugees bartered for food

  2. (intr) to haggle over the terms of such an exchange; bargain

  1. trade by the exchange of goods

Origin of barter

C15: from Old French barater to cheat; perhaps related to Greek prattein to do

Derived forms of barter

  • barterer, noun

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

Cultural definitions for barter


The exchange of goods or services for other goods or services, rather than for money.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.