[ deel ]
See synonyms for: dealdealingdealt on

  1. a business transaction: They closed the deal after a week of negotiating.

  2. a bargain or arrangement for mutual advantage: the best deal in town.

  1. a secret or underhanded agreement or bargain: His supporters worked a number of deals to help his campaign.

  2. Informal. treatment received in an interaction or arrangement with another: He got a raw deal.

  3. an indefinite but large quantity, amount, extent, or degree (usually preceded by good or great): a good deal of work;a great deal of money.

  4. Cards.

    • the distribution of cards to the players in a game.

    • the set of cards in one's hand.

    • the turn of a player to distribute the cards to the players.

    • the period of time during which a hand, or set of cards, is played.

  5. an act of handing out or distributing.

  6. (initial capital letter) an economic and social policy pursued by a political administration: the Fair Deal;the New Deal;the Green New Deal.

  7. Obsolete. portion; share.

verb (used without object),dealt, deal·ing.
  1. to occupy oneself or itself (usually followed by with or in): Botany deals with the study of plants.He deals in generalities.

  2. to take action with respect to a thing or person (followed by with): Law courts must deal with lawbreakers.

  1. to conduct oneself toward persons: He deals fairly.

  2. to be able to handle competently or successfully; cope (followed by with):I can't deal with your personal problems.

  3. to trade or do business (followed by with or in): to deal with a firm;to deal in used cars.

  4. to distribute, especially the cards in a game (often followed by out): She dealt out five hands of six cards each. It's your turn to deal.

  5. Slang. to buy and sell drugs illegally.

  6. Archaic. to have dealings or commerce, often in a secret or underhanded manner (often followed by with): to deal with the Devil.

verb (used with object),dealt, deal·ing.
  1. to give to one as a share; apportion: Deal me in.

  2. to distribute among a number of recipients, as the cards required in a game: Deal five cards to each player.

  1. Cards. to give a player (a specific card) in dealing: You dealt yourself four aces.

  2. to deliver (an action or a judgment) on or upon someone; administer: As a repeat offender, she can expect to be dealt a harsh sentence. Did you see the cat dealing a blow to a dog five times its size?

  3. Slang. to buy and sell (drugs) illegally.

  4. Slang. to trade (an athlete) to another team.

Verb Phrases
  1. deal off,

    • Poker. to deal the final hand of a game.

    • Slang. to get rid of or trade (something or someone) in a transaction.

Idioms about deal

  1. cut a deal, Informal. to make an agreement, especially a business agreement: Networks have cut a deal with foreign stations for an international hookup.

  2. deal someone in, Slang. to include: He was making a lot of dough in the construction business so I got him to deal me in.

  1. seal the deal. See entry at seal the deal.

Origin of deal

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb delen, dalen, dealen “to separate, divide, share, have dealings,” Old English dǣlan (cognate with German teilen “to divide, share”), derivative of dǣl “part, portion” (cognate with German Teil ); Middle English noun del, dæl, deal, Old English dǣl; in part derivative of the verb

Other words for deal

Words Nearby deal

Other definitions for deal (2 of 2)

[ deel ]

  1. a board or plank, especially of fir or pine, cut to any of various standard sizes.

  2. such boards collectively.

  1. fir or pine wood.

  1. made of deal.

Origin of deal

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English dele, dile, from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch dele; see thill Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use deal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deal (1 of 3)


/ (diːl) /

verbdeals, dealing or dealt (dɛlt)
  1. (intr foll by in) to engage (in) commercially: to deal in upholstery

  2. (often foll by out) to apportion (something, such as cards) to a number of people; distribute

  1. (tr) to give (a blow) to (someone); inflict

  2. (intr) slang to sell any illegal drug

  1. informal a bargain, transaction, or agreement

  2. a particular type of treatment received, esp as the result of an agreement: a fair deal

  1. an indefinite amount, extent, or degree (esp in the phrases good or great deal)

  2. cards

    • the process of distributing the cards

    • a player's turn to do this

    • a single round in a card game

  3. cut a deal informal, mainly US to come to an arrangement; make a deal: See also deal with

  4. the real deal informal a person or thing seen as being authentic and not inferior in any way

Origin of deal

Old English dǣlan, from dǣl a part; compare Old High German teil a part, Old Norse deild a share

British Dictionary definitions for deal (2 of 3)


/ (diːl) /

  1. a plank of softwood timber, such as fir or pine, or such planks collectively

  2. the sawn wood of various coniferous trees, such as that from the Scots pine (red deal) or from the Norway Spruce (white deal)

  1. of fir or pine

Origin of deal

C14: from Middle Low German dele plank; see thill

British Dictionary definitions for Deal (3 of 3)


/ (diːl) /

  1. a town in SE England, in Kent, on the English Channel: two 16th-century castles: tourism, light industries. Pop: 96 670 (2003 est)

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with deal


In addition to the idioms beginning with deal

  • deal in
  • deal out
  • deal with

also see:

  • big deal
  • close the sale (deal)
  • cut a deal
  • done deal
  • good deal
  • make a federal case (big deal)
  • no deal
  • raw deal
  • square deal
  • sweeten the kitty (deal)
  • wheel and deal

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.