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From Late Latin dacra (a dicker), from Latin decuria (a ten of something), from decem (ten).[1]



dicker (third-person singular simple present dickers, present participle dickering, simple past and past participle dickered)

  1. (intransitive) To bargain, haggle or negotiate over a sale.
    • 1941, Emily Carr, Klee Wyck, Chapter 6, [1]
      In the brilliant sparkle of the morning when everything that was not superlatively blue was superlatively green, I dickered with a man who was taking a party up the inlet that he should drop me off at the village I was headed for.
  2. (transitive) To barter.
    • 1848, James Fenimore Cooper, The Oak Openings, Chapter 2, [2]
      Then, the white men who penetrated to those semi-wilds were always ready to "dicker" and to "swap," and to "trade" rifles, and watches, and whatever else they might happen to possess, almost to their wives and children.


dicker (countable and uncountable, plural dickers)

  1. (obsolete) A unit of measure, consisting of 10 of some object, particularly hides and skins.
    • 1599, attributed to Thomas Heywood, Edward IV, Part One, Act III, Scene 1, [3]
      Hobs [the Tanner of Tamsworth]. [] My taking is more than my spending, for here's store left. I have spent but a groat; a penny for my two jades, a penny to the poor, a penny pot of ale, and a penny cake for my man and me, a dicker of cowhides cost me.
    • 1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 1, page 171,
      The dicker, or daker, was ten, and is found, though generally at later times than the period before us, as a measure for hides and gloves.
  2. (US) A chaffering, barter, or exchange, of small wares.
    to make a dicker
    • 1856, John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Panorama" [4]
      “Grant that the North’s insulted, scorned, betrayed,
      O'erreached in bargains with her neighbor made,
      When selfish thrift and party held the scales
      For peddling dicker, not for honest sales,—
      Whom shall we strike? Who most deserves our blame?



  1. ^ Skeat, Walter William. "Dicker, Daykyr" in Notes on English Etymology.






  1. comparative degree of dick