Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To trade goods or services without the exchange of money.
  • transitive v. To trade (goods or services) without the exchange of money.
  • n. The act or practice of bartering.
  • n. Something bartered.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being something based on bartering: a barter economy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an equal exchange
  • v. exchange goods or services without involving money

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or practice of trafficking by exchange of commodities; an exchange of goods.
  • n. The thing given in exchange.
  • intransitive v. To traffic or trade, by exchanging one commodity for another, in distinction from a sale and purchase, in which money is paid for the commodities transferred; to truck.
  • transitive v. To trade or exchange in the way of barter; to exchange (frequently for an unworthy consideration); to traffic; to truck; -- sometimes followed by away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To traffic or trade by exchanging one commodity for another, in distinction from buying and selling for money.
  • To give (one thing or commodity) for another of equivalent or supposed equivalent value: with a person, for (formerly with) a thing: as, to barter one's jewels for bread.
  • To exchange, in general.
  • n. The act of exchanging; specifically, the act or practice of trafficking by exchange of commodities.
  • n. The thing given in exchange.
  • n. An arithmetical rule by which the values of different goods are ascertained and compared
  • n. Synonyms Dealing, trade, traffic, truck, interchange.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an equal exchange
  • v. exchange goods without involving money

Etymologies

Middle English barteren, probably from Old French barater; see barrator.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French barater, of uncertain origin (maybe Celtic). (Wiktionary)

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