• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to trade by exchange of commodities rather than by the use of money.
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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.
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  1. the act or practice of bartering.
  2. items or an item for bartering: We arrived with new barter for the villagers.
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Origin of barter

1400–50; late Middle English, apparently < Anglo-French, Old French bareter, barater (see barrator), with shift of sense
Related formsbar·ter·er, nounout·bar·ter, verb (used with object)un·bar·tered, adjectiveun·bar·ter·ing, adjective

Synonyms for barter

1, 2. traffic.

Synonym study

1, 2. See trade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bartered

haggle, exchange, bargain, trade, truck, swap, traffic

Examples from the Web for bartered

Contemporary Examples of bartered

Historical Examples of bartered

  • I trust not the varlet with whom I bartered it for my motley.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Not so much as a weapon had I that I might have bartered for a few coins.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

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

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • I would not have bartered the place in that cabriolet for the proudest throne in Europe.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • We bartered more horses in a month than we had at other times in a year.

British Dictionary definitions for bartered


  1. to trade (goods, services, etc) in exchange for other goods, services, etc, rather than for moneythe refugees bartered for food
  2. (intr) to haggle over the terms of such an exchange; bargain
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  1. trade by the exchange of goods
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Derived Formsbarterer, noun

Word Origin for barter

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bartered in Culture


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

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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.