The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Deal \Deal\ (d[=e]l), n. [OE. del, deel, part, AS. d[=ae]l; akin
to OS. d[=e]l, D. & Dan. deel, G. theil, teil, Icel. deild,
Sw. del, Goth. dails. [root]65. Cf. 3d Dole.]
1. A part or portion; a share; hence, an indefinite quantity,
degree, or extent, degree, or extent; as, a deal of time
and trouble; a deal of cold.
Three tenth deals [parts of an ephah] of flour.
--Num. xv. 9.
As an object of science it [the Celtic genius] may
count for a good deal . . . as a spiritual power.
She was resolved to be a good deal more circumspect.
Note: It was formerly limited by some, every, never a, a
thousand, etc.; as, some deal; but these are now
obsolete or vulgar. In general, we now qualify the word
with great or good, and often use it adverbially, by
being understood; as, a great deal of time and pains; a
great (or good) deal better or worse; that is, better
by a great deal, or by a great part or difference.
2. The process of dealing cards to the players; also, the
The deal, the shuffle, and the cut. --Swift.
3. Distribution; apportionment. [Colloq.]
4. An arrangement to attain a desired result by a combination
of interested parties; -- applied to stock speculations
and political bargains. [Slang]
5. [Prob. from D. deel a plank, threshing floor. See
Thill.] The division of a piece of timber made by
sawing; a board or plank; particularly, a board or plank
of fir or pine above seven inches in width, and exceeding
six feet in length. If narrower than this, it is called a
batten; if shorter, a deal end.
Note: Whole deal is a general term for planking one and one
half inches thick.
6. Wood of the pine or fir; as, a floor of deal.
Deal tree, a fir tree. --Dr. Prior.