horse trading

  1. the act or fact of conducting a shrewd exchange or engaging in a horse trade; bargaining.

Origin of horse trading

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use horse trading in a sentence

  • High-priced stock is rare here, hence there is little horse-trading of the swindling variety, and no horse thieving.

  • They indulged in horse-trading and played politics to a certain extent, but the lines of demarcation were sharper.

    Ten From Infinity | Paul W. Fairman
  • Children loved him, and he sneaked away from work to tell them improbable stories of sea-faring and horse-trading and bears.

    Main Street | Sinclair Lewis
  • The preacher who led the meeting is saturated with tobacco and addicted to horse-trading and worldly foolish jesting.

    Birth of a Reformation | Andrew Byers
  • The former make an open business of horse-trading, and the latter of public-dancing, singing, and fortune-telling.

British Dictionary definitions for horse trading

horse trading

  1. hard bargaining to obtain equal concessions by both sides in a dispute

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 horse trading

horse trading

Negotiation marked by hard bargaining and shrewd exchange. For example, The restaurant owner is famous for his horse trading; he's just exchanged a month of free dinners for a month of free television commercials. This expression alludes to the notorious shrewdness of horse traders, who literally bought and sold horses. [c. 1820]

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