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From Middle English bargaynen (to bargain, make a pledge for sale), from Old French bargaigner (to bargain), from Frankish *borganjan (to borrow, lend), from Proto-Germanic *burgijaną (to borrow, lend), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰergʰ- (to protect, secure). Akin to Old High German boragēn, borgēn (to look after, care for) (German borgen), Old English borgian (to borrow, lend, pledge). More at borrow.



bargain (plural bargains)

  1. An agreement between parties concerning the sale of property; or a contract by which one party binds himself to transfer the right to some property for a consideration, and the other party binds himself to receive the property and pay the consideration.
    • 1883, J. J. S Wharton, Wharton's Law Lexicon:
      A contract is a bargain that is legally binding.
  2. An agreement or stipulation; mutual pledge.
    Synonyms: contract, engagement, stipulation
  3. An item purchased for significantly less than the usual, or recommended, price
    Synonym: steal
    Synonym: rip-off
  4. A gainful transaction; an advantageous purchase.
    to buy a thing at a bargain
    At that price, it's not just a bargain, it's a steal.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
      Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; [].
  5. The thing stipulated or purchased.
    Synonym: purchase
    • c. 1603, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act V scene ii[2]:
      If he say so, may his pernicious soul Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th' heart. She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from bargain (noun)


  • Sranan Tongo: barki


bargain (third-person singular simple present bargains, present participle bargaining, simple past and past participle bargained)

  1. (intransitive) To make a bargain; to make a deal or contract for the exchange of property or services; to negotiate
    They had to bargain for a few minutes to get a decent price for the rug.
  2. (transitive) To transfer for a consideration; to barter; to trade

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from bargain (verb)


See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman bargaigne, from bargaigner.


  • IPA(key): /barˈɡɛi̯n(ə)/, /ˈbarɡən(ə)/


bargain (plural bargaines)

  1. A corporate agreement; a trade deal.
  2. A pact; a concord; an agreement with legal force.
  3. A project, venture or endeavour.
  4. (rare) An item or product; a commodity.
  5. (rare) A situation as an outcome of prior behaviour from others.
  6. (rare) A promise or commitment; an obligation due to prior agreement.
  7. (rare) An argument or dispute.



Scottish Gaelic[edit]


bargain m

  1. genitive singular of bargan
  2. nominative plural of bargan