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See more synonyms for chaffer on Thesaurus.com
  1. bargaining; haggling.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to bargain; haggle: to chaffer over a price.
  2. to bandy words; chatter: to chaffer about nothing in particular.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bandy (words).
  2. Obsolete. to trade or deal in; barter.
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Origin of chaffer1

1175–1225; Middle English chaffare, derivative of chapfare trading journey, equivalent to Old English cēap trade (see cheap) + faru journey; see fare
Related formschaff·er·er, noun


  1. a person who chaffs or banters.
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Origin of chaffer2

First recorded in 1850–55; chaff2 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for chaffer

Historical Examples

  • God is no tradesman that he should chaffer for the forgiveness of sins.

    Dreamers of the Ghetto

    I. Zangwill

  • You have the strength, the courage, the brains—why chaffer when you have but to strike once to win all?

    The Doomsman

    Van Tassel Sutphen

  • Some of the rabble began to chaffer with this ancient hucksteress.

  • Be first in acting.Prig; to chaffer or higgle about a thing.

  • And the Sicilian is too grave and dignified to chaffer or to make himself cheap or dear.

    The Admiral

    Douglas Sladen

British Dictionary definitions for chaffer


  1. (intr) to haggle or bargain
  2. to chatter, talk, or say idly; bandy (words)
  3. (tr) obsolete to deal in; barter
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  1. haggling or bargaining
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Derived Formschafferer, noun

Word Origin

C13 chaffare, from chep bargain + fare journey; see cheap, fare
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 chaffer


"a bargain," early 13c., cheffare "buying and selling," also (14c.) cheapfare, probably from Old English ceap "bargain, traffic, gain, sale" (see cheap) + faru "faring, going" (see fare (n.)). In later use, "haggling." The verb is recorded from mid-14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper