Etymology
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barter (v.)

"to traffic or trade by exchanging one commodity for another," mid-15c., apparently from Old French barater "to barter, cheat, deceive, haggle" (also, "to have sexual intercourse"), 12c., which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Celtic language (compare Irish brath "treachery"). Connection between "trading" and "cheating" exists in several languages. Related: Bartered; bartering.

As a noun, "act of exchanging, commerce by exchange of commodities" (rather than buying and selling for money), 1590s, from the verb.

updated on April 08, 2017

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Definitions of barter from WordNet
1
barter (v.)
exchange goods without involving money;
2
barter (n.)
an equal exchange;
we had no money so we had to live by barter
Synonyms: swap / swop / trade
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.