haggle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1570s, "to cut unevenly" (implied in haggler), frequentative of Middle English haggen (to chop), variant of hacken (to hack), equivalent to hack +‎ -le. Sense of "argue about price" first recorded c.1600, probably from notion of chopping away.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈhæɡəl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡəl

Verb[edit]

haggle (third-person singular simple present haggles, present participle haggling, simple past and past participle haggled)

  1. (intransitive) To argue for a better deal, especially over prices with a seller.
    • 2020, Abi Daré, The Girl With The Louding Voice, Sceptre, page 184:
      ‘I am pretty useless at haggling. Haggling means asking the seller to sell stuff below the asking price.’
    I haggled for a better price because the original price was too high.
  2. (transitive) To hack (cut crudely)
    • 1599: William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 4, Scene 6
      Suffolk first died, and York, all haggled o'er, / Comes to him, where in gore he lay insteeped.
    • 1884: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter VIII
      I catched a catfish and haggled him open with my saw, and towards sundown I started my camp fire and had supper. Then I set out a line to catch some fish for breakfast.
  3. To stick at small matters; to chaffer; to higgle.
    • June 30, 1784, Horace Walpole, letter to the Hon. Henry Seymour Conway
      Royalty and science never haggled about the value of blood.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (to argue for a better deal): wrangle

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “haggle”, in Online Etymology Dictionary