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caveat emptor

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noun caveat emp·tor \-ˈem(p)-tər, -ˌtȯr\

Simple Definition of caveat emptor

  • law : the principle that a person who buys something is responsible for making sure that it is in good condition, works properly, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of caveat emptor

  1. :  a principle in commerce: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk

Did You Know?

"Without a warranty, the buyer must take the risk" is the basic meaning of the phrase caveat emptor. In the days when buying and selling was carried on in the local marketplace, the rule was a practical one. Buyer and seller knew each other and were on equal footing. The nature of modern commerce and technology placed the buyer at a disadvantage, however, so a stack of regulations have been written by federal, state, and local agencies to protect the consumer against dangerous or defective products, fraudulent practices, and the like. But the principle that a buyer needs a warranty if he is to avoid risk remains an important legal concept. Note that a caveat is a small warning or explanation intended to avoid misinterpretation.

Origin and Etymology of caveat emptor

New Latin, let the buyer beware


First Known Use: 1523


Law Dictionary

caveat emptor

play
noun caveat emp·tor \-ˈemp-tər, -ˌtȯr\

Legal Definition of caveat emptor

  1. :  a principle in commercial transactions: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk as to the condition of the property or goods — compare products liability at liability 2b, warranty



Origin and Etymology of caveat emptor

New Latin, may the buyer beware



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