verb (used without object)

to deal, swap, or trade with petty bargaining; bargain; haggle.
to barter.
to try to arrange matters by mutual bargaining: They dickered for hours over some of the finer points of the contract.


Origin of dicker

First recorded in 1795–1805; perhaps v. use of dicker2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dickered

haggle, barter, negotiate, palter, trade, huckster, chaffer

Examples from the Web for dickered

Contemporary Examples of dickered

Historical Examples of dickered

  • Sence Old Time himself is a-storin' up the stunny years in his bag that can't be dickered with, or deceived.

  • In the presence of the editor, Mr. Joe Blethen, he dickered for the sale of an affidavit to discredit me.

    My Attainment of the Pole

    Frederick A. Cook

  • Thinking that it might be possible to secure a canoe from here to Pueblo Viejo, we dickered with a boatman at the wharf.

  • We dickered a little more, and I agreed to pay them a large amount of gin and a certain sum of money.

    Adventures in Swaziland

    Owen Rowe O'Neil

  • Here he dickered for finely beaded moccasins and hat-bands and other articles for which he found a profitable market in the East.

    Mystery Ranch

    Arthur Chapman

British Dictionary definitions for dickered



to trade (goods) by bargaining; barter
(intr) to negotiate a political deal


  1. a petty bargain or barter
  2. the item or items bargained or bartered
a political deal or bargain

Word Origin for dicker

C12: ultimately from Latin decuria decury; related to Middle Low German dēker lot of ten hides
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 dickered



"haggle, bargain in a petty way," 1802, American English, perhaps from dicker (n.) "a unit or package of tens," especially hides (attested from late 13c.), perhaps from Latin decuria "parcel of ten" (supposedly a unit of barter on the Roman frontier; cf. German Decher "set of ten things"), from decem "ten" (see ten) on model of centuria from centum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper