Green’s Dictionary of Slang

deal n.1

[ult. SE deal, the act or system of dividing into parts for distribution]

1. [mid–late 19C] any form of financial or commercial transaction [20C+ use is SE] .

2. [late 19C+] (orig. US) an idea, plan, scheme, arrangement, current situation, esp. with the implication of illegality or subterfuge.

3. [late 19C+] the treatment one has received, whether good or bad; thus square deal under square adj.

4. [late 19C+] (orig. US) the situation, the state of affairs, e.g. that’s the deal.

5. (US) a beating.

6. [1910s+] (drugs) a purchase or sale of drugs, esp. cannabis; thus quid deal, one pound’s worth etc.

7. [1920s+] (US) a turn of events, a development.

8. [1940s+] (orig. US, also dealie) an individual or thing.

9. [1950s] one’s concern or business, e.g. that’s my deal, that’s my business.

10. [1990s+] (US campus) a problem, a conflict.

11. see dealer n.

In phrases

cut a deal (v.) (also cut)

[1970s+] (orig. US) to compromise; to make an arrangement, to make a deal.