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A negotiable instrument is a special kind of paper that can be sold or traded to someone else. It's like a special ticket or IOU that you can give to someone else who can then use it to get something in return. Promissory notes are an example of a negotiable instrument.
For example, let's say you borrowed $1,000 from your friend and wrote a promissory note saying you would pay them back in six months. That promissory note is a negotiable instrument, which means you could sell it to someone else for $800, and then they would become the one you owe money to.
"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"
A negotiable instrument, oh my,
A paper you can sell or buy.
Like a promissory note, it's true,
Can be transferred to someone new.