- an advantageous purchase, especially one acquired at less than the usual cost: The sale offered bargains galore.
- an agreement between parties settling what each shall give and take or perform and receive in a transaction.
- such an agreement as affecting one of the parties: a losing bargain.
- something acquired by bargaining.
- Informal. an agreeable person, especially one who causes no trouble or difficulty (usually used in negative constructions): His boss is no bargain.
verb (used without object)
- to discuss the terms of a bargain; haggle; negotiate.
- to come to an agreement; make a bargain: We bargained on a three-year term.
verb (used with object)
- to arrange by bargain; negotiate: to bargain a new wage increase.
- to anticipate as likely to occur; expect (usually followed by a clause): I’ll bargain that he’s going to give those company directors plenty of trouble.
- bargain for, to anticipate or take into account: The job turned out to be more than he had bargained for.
- bargain on, to expect or anticipate; count or rely on: You can’t bargain on what she’ll do in this situation.
- in/into the bargain, over and above what has been stipulated; moreover; besides: The new housekeeper proved to be a fine cook in the bargain.
- strike a bargain, to make a bargain; agree to terms: They were unable to strike a bargain because the owner’s asking price was more than the prospective buyer could afford.
- an agreement or contract establishing what each party will give, receive, or perform in a transaction between them
- something acquired or received in such an agreement
- something bought or offered at a low pricea bargain at an auction
- (as modifier)a bargain price
- into the bargain or US in the bargain in excess of what has been stipulated; besides
- make a bargain or strike a bargain to agree on terms
- (intr) to negotiate the terms of an agreement, transaction, etc
- (tr) to exchange, as in a bargain
- to arrive at (an agreement or settlement)
mid-14c., “business transaction or agreement,” also “that which is acquired by bargaining,” from Old French bargaine, from bargaignier (see bargain (v.)). Meaning “article priced for special sale” is from 1899. A bargain basement (1899) originally was a basement floor in a store where bargains were displayed.
late 14c., from Old French bargaignier (12c., Modern French barguigner) “to haggle over the price,” perhaps from Frankish *borganjan “to lend” or some other Germanic source, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *borgan (cf. Old High German borgen; Old English borgian, source of borrow). Another suggestion is that the French word comes from Late Latin barca “a barge,” because it “carries goods to and fro.” There are difficulties with both suggestions. Related: Bargained; bargaining.
In addition to the idiom beginning with bargain
- bargain for
- drive a bargain
- into the bargain
- make the best of it (a bad bargain)
- more than one bargained for
- strike a bargain