verb (used without object), horse-trad·ed, horse-trad·ing.

to bargain or trade shrewdly.

Origin of horse-trade

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30

horse trading


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. 2019

Related Words for horse-trading

squabble, barter, dicker, bargain, wrangle, quibble, cavil, deal, palter, argue, dispute, chaffer

Examples from the Web for horse-trading

Contemporary Examples of horse-trading

  • Israeli politics will now devolve into a fierce period of horse-trading, double dealing, and speculation.

  • The word "horse-trading" in politics is not meant to be understood literally after all.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama's Crazy Clinton Mess

    Eric Alterman

    May 28, 2010

  • Andrew Roberts on the horse-trading ahead—and the financial Armageddon to come.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Well-Hung British Election

    The Daily Beast

    May 7, 2010

  • The leadership may have to dangle choice committee assignments to complete the steal, and engage in other kinds of horse-trading.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How To Switch Parties

    Samuel P. Jacobs

    January 6, 2010

Historical Examples of horse-trading

  • If we put this deal over right we don't need to bother about horse-trading.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • Rome began as a thousand American cities have done, by being a convenient place for barter and horse-trading.

    The Story of Mankind

    Hendrik Van Loon

  • Jasper went out and into the dining-room conducted the horse-trading preacher.

    The Starbucks

    Opie Percival Read

  • The former make an open business of horse-trading, and the latter of public-dancing, singing, and fortune-telling.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for horse-trading

horse trading


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

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.