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From Middle English bargaynen (to bargain, make a pledge for sale), from Anglo-Norman bargai(g)ner (to bargain), from Old French bargai(g)ner (to bargain, haggle), 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.
  3. An item purchased for significantly less than the usual, or recommended, price
  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., 55 Fifth Avenue, [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.
    • 1603 William Shakespeare, Othello
      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.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for bargain in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



Derived terms[edit]



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
    • c. 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1
      So worthless peasants bargain for their wives.
    United we bargain, divided we beg
  2. (transitive) To transfer for a consideration; to barter; to trade
    They had to bargain for a few minutes to get a decent price for the rug.

Derived terms[edit]


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) A 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