60 Useful Idioms About Negotiation in English

Idioms About Negotiations! This comprehensive lesson on negotiation idioms in English will teach you 60 significant idiomatic terms typically used in the context of negotiations. Each idiom is accompanied by a brief description, allowing you to comprehend their meanings immediately.

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These idioms can help you navigate and communicate successfully in numerous negotiating settings, whether haggling for a lower price, looking for compromises, or trying to close the sale. Understanding and employing these idioms will improve your capacity to engage in effective negotiations and express yourself fluently in business and diplomacy.

60 Useful Idioms About Negotiations in English
Useful Idioms About Negotiations

Idioms About Negotiation With Meanings

Drive a hard bargain – Negotiate toughly.

  • Example: She drove a hard bargain for the car.

Cut a deal – Make an agreement.

  • Example: They cut a deal on the contract.

Haggle over – Argue about terms.

  • Example: They haggled over the price.

Close the deal – Finalize an agreement.

  • Example: They closed the deal quickly.

Win-win situation – Beneficial outcome for all.

  • Example: The deal was a win-win.

Bargain for – Expect or negotiate for.

  • Example: They bargained for better terms.

Hold all the cards – Be in control.

  • Example: She holds all the cards in this negotiation.

Hold one’s ground – Stand firm.

  • Example: He held his ground during the argument.

In the driver’s seat – In control.

  • Example: He’s in the driver’s seat with the most shares.

Put all your cards on the table – Be transparent.

  • Example: Put all your cards on the table from the start.

Show your hand – Reveal intentions.

  • Example: She showed her hand by mentioning her plans.

Get down to brass tacks – Discuss specifics.

  • Example: Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Nail down – Finalize.

  • Example: They need to nail down the details.

Play hardball – Be tough.

  • Example: They’re playing hardball in negotiations.

Come to terms – Reach an agreement.

  • Example: They came to terms with the deal.

Behind closed doors – In private.

  • Example: The meeting happened behind closed doors.

Strike a deal – Reach an agreement.

  • Example: They struck a deal after negotiations.

In the same ballpark – In the same range.

  • Example: Our estimates are in the same ballpark.

Split the difference – Compromise.

  • Example: They split the difference in the price.

Up the ante – Raise demands.

  • Example: He upped the ante by asking for more.

Give and take – Compromise.

  • Example: Negotiations require give and take.

Come out in the wash – Be resolved.

  • Example: Hopefully, it’ll come out in the wash.

In hot water – In trouble.

  • Example: He’s in hot water for missing the deadline.

Leave something on the table – Miss out on a better deal.

  • Example: Don’t leave anything on the table.

Stick to your guns – Refuse to change your stance.

  • Example: She stuck to her guns.

Put the ball in their court – Make them decide.

  • Example: The ball is in their court now.

Call the shots – Make decisions.

  • Example: As CEO, she calls the shots.

Fish in troubled waters – Exploit a difficult situation.

  • Example: They’re fishing in troubled waters.

Show your true colors – Reveal real intentions.

  • Example: He showed his true colors in the end.

In the 11th hour – Last minute.

  • Example: They reached an agreement in the 11th hour.

The ball is in your court – It’s your decision.

  • Example: The ball is in your court now.

Cut one’s losses – Stop pursuing failure.

  • Example: They cut their losses and abandoned the project.

Have a leg up – Have an advantage.

  • Example: Her experience gave her a leg up.

Stick to your guns – Refuse to change your stance.

  • Example: She stuck to her guns.

Hold someone’s feet to the fire – Keep someone accountable.

  • Example: We need to hold them to the fire.

A bitter pill to swallow – Difficult reality.

  • Example: The pay cut was a bitter pill.

A level playing field – Fair opportunity.

  • Example: We need a level playing field.

Foot in the door – Initial opportunity.

  • Example: An internship is a foot in the door.

Lay your cards on the table – Be honest about your intentions.

  • Example: Lay your cards on the table.

A tough nut to crack – A challenging problem.

  • Example: It’s a tough nut to crack.

Play one’s cards right – Make wise decisions.

  • Example: If you play your cards right.

Let the dust settle – Wait for things to calm.

  • Example: Let the dust settle before deciding.

Have an edge – Slight advantage.

  • Example: Our product has an edge.

Back to the drawing board – Start over.

  • Example: Back to the drawing board after the failure.

Stay the course – Continue with the plan.

  • Example: They decided to stay the course.

Ace up one’s sleeve – Hidden advantage.

  • Example: She has an ace up her sleeve.

Smooth things over – Resolve conflicts.

  • Example: He smoothed things over after the argument.

Let the dust settle – Wait for things to calm.

  • Example: Let the dust settle after the merger.

The devil is in the details – Small details matter.

  • Example: The devil is in the details.

Have a say – Express an opinion.

  • Example: Employees should have a say.

Put the ball in their court – Make them decide.

  • Example: Now, the ball is in their court.

Wheel and deal – Engage in negotiations.

  • Example: He’s always wheeling and dealing.

Stay the course – Continue with the plan.

  • Example: Despite challenges, they stayed the course.

Back to the drawing board – Start over.

  • Example: Back to the drawing board after the failure.

Throw in the towel – Give up.

  • Example: He decided to throw in the towel.

A level playing field – Fair opportunity.

  • Example: We need a level playing field.

Hold one’s ground – Stand firm.

  • Example: She held her ground during the argument.

Lay your cards on the table – Be honest about your intentions.

  • Example: Lay your cards on the table.

Stick to your guns – Refuse to change your stance.

  • Example: She stuck to her guns.

Have an edge – Slight advantage.

  • Example: Our product has an edge.

A tough nut to crack – A challenging problem.

  • Example: It’s a tough nut to crack.

In the 11th hour – Last minute.

  • Example: They reached an agreement in the 11th hour.

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