Definitions

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

  • n. One who engages in banter or good-natured teasing.
  • intransitive v. To bargain or haggle.
  • intransitive v. Chiefly British To bandy words; engage in small talk.
  • transitive v. To bargain or haggle for.
  • n. Archaic A bargaining or haggling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To haggle or barter.
  • n. The upper sieve of a cleaning shoe in a combine harvester, where chaff is removed

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who chaffs.
  • n. Bargaining; merchandise.
  • intransitive v. To treat or dispute about a purchase; to bargain; to haggle or higgle; to negotiate.
  • intransitive v. To talk much and idly; to chatter.
  • transitive v. To buy or sell; to trade in.
  • transitive v. To exchange; to bandy, as words.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Merchandise; wares; goods; traffic.
  • n. Bargaining; haggling in buying and selling.
  • To buy or sell; trade or deal in.
  • To exchange; bandy.
  • To talk much and idly; chatter: as, “the chaffering sparrow,”
  • n. Same as chafer, 4.
  • n. One who employs chaff or light raillery.

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

  • v. wrangle (over a price, terms of an agreement, etc.)
  • v. talk socially without exchanging too much information

Etymologies

Middle English chaffaren, to haggle, from chaffare, cheapfare, bargaining : chep, purchase; see cheap + fare, journey, business (from Old English faru, from faran, to travel; see fare).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of cheap and fare. (Wiktionary)
From chaff +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As the "chaffer" shuffled off, Buck Bradley began to hum:

    The Border Boys Across the Frontier

  • I scattered my gold lavishly, nor did I chaffer over prices in mart or exchange.

    The Dignity of Dollars

  • We do not bargain and chaffer over our feelings, Hester and I.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • Twinkling chaffer/roarers followed behind them, quickly surpassing the pillars as they raced into the starfield.

    Jason Stoddard, Strange and Happy » Blog Archive » Eternal Franchise, 15.1 of 31.1

  • Thinkest thou to chaffer with Him, who formed the earth, and spread out the heavens, or that thou canst offer aught of homage or devotion that can be worth acceptance in his eyes?

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Ali Shar, “Begone, without more chaffer and chatter; there is nothing in the house.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • But now she had done her chaffer, and was looking about her as if to note the folk for her disport; but when she came across a child, whether it were borne in arms or led by its kinswomen, or were going alone, as were some, she seemed more heedful of it, and eyed it more closely than aught else.

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Pasgen allowed himself to be divested of three of the amulets he had marked because to fail to chaffer would also mark him as unusual; however, he was growing impatient and finally made as if to throw down the amulets he was holding and walk away.

    Ill Met By Moonlight

  • Thus, when the duke of Norfolk presented King Henry's case to her, Anne hardly resisted at all; indeed, she did little more than to chaffer for the best possible bargain she could extract from the king.

    Ill Met By Moonlight

  • In the whole course of my life I never came across so mean a scoundrel; and now you chaffer with me as to whether or no you shall criminate yourself!

    Castle Richmond

Comments

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  • "That afternoon Stafford was fitted out with a safari suit in less than an hour in one of the Indian shops near the market. Nair did the chaffering and brought the price down to remarkably low level."
    - 'Windfall', Desmond Bagley.

    January 6, 2008