auction

1 of 2

noun

auc·​tion ˈȯk-shən How to pronounce auction (audio)
1
: a sale of property to the highest bidder
2
: the act or process of bidding in some card games

auction

2 of 2

verb

auctioned; auctioning ˈȯk-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce auction (audio)

transitive verb

: to sell at auction
auctioned off his library

Examples of auction in a Sentence

Noun She bought the desk at an auction. He made several bids at the auction. Verb They auctioned a similar desk last year. The house was auctioned last week.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ford produced just five of these Thunderbird Apollos for the clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, and one of them is up for auction on Bring A Trailer. Logan Carter / Jalopnik, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 Now the program is funded by a benefit auction, outside donations, some private foundation grants, and All Together Art, a nonprofit organization founded by several veterans who have participated in Mr. Kline’s program. David Conrads, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Apr. 2024 Bidding began at $191,000, but 16 bids were placed during the last 22 minutes of the auction. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2024 One of the most iconic props in cinema history—the floating wooden panel from Titanic—has sold at auction for $718,750. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2024 The 2012 is up for auction until tomorrow afternoon, with bidding having reached $751,000 as of press time. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 Several other pieces from Titanic were also part of the auction, from the ship's helm wheel to Rose's white, pink, and lavender chiffon dress. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 25 Mar. 2024 To help sweeten the pot, the event would be a charity auction, with half the proceeds from Art’s work going to After-School All-Stars, a charity that provides free after-school programs for underprivileged youth. Jason Kersten, Rolling Stone, 23 Mar. 2024 The Instagram account for the auction would be regularly updated throughout the day for a look at what was available. The Arizona Republic, 23 Mar. 2024
Verb
In 2011, a French archaeologist identified the other missing warrior as Duryodhana — a statue Sotheby’s had planned to auction off for at least $2 million until Cambodia alleged it was stolen and asked the U.S. government for help getting it back. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2024 Now, real estate officials are pushing forward with a foreclosure proceeding this month to allow the property to be auctioned off to a bidder or returned to its lender to satisfy the unpaid debt. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 Stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers to go on international tour before being auctioned The slippers were returned to their owner, nearly 20 years after the iconic shoes were stolen from a museum in the late actor’s hometown. Steve Karnowski and Jim Salter, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2024 The Biden administration has approved six commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects, and auctioned lease areas for offshore wind for the first time off the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Jennifer McDermott, Fortune Europe, 14 Mar. 2024 The top 100 stamps from the collection will be auctioned off on June 14, while the remaining stamps will be sold on June 15. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 13 Mar. 2024 This year Arizona’s statewide desert bighorn sheep license was auctioned for a record $430,000 at the Wild Sheep Foundation’s annual convention held in January in Reno, Nevada. Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life, 13 Mar. 2024 Holsten’s in Bloomfield, New Jersey, is auctioning off the original booth that character Tony Soprano and his family sat at during the final scene of the HBO series The Sopranos. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 2 Mar. 2024 Eight watches from the collection of Michael Schumacher highlighting milestones in the career of the seven-time Formula One champion will be auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva and may fetch millions. Andy Hoffman, Fortune Europe, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Latin auction-, auctio, from augēre to increase — more at eke

First Known Use

Noun

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1723, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of auction was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near auction

Cite this Entry

“Auction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auction. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

auction

1 of 2 noun
auc·​tion ˈȯk-shən How to pronounce auction (audio)
: a sale at which things are sold to those who offer to pay the most

auction

2 of 2 verb
auctioned; auctioning -sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce auction (audio)
: to sell at auction
Etymology

Noun

from Latin auction-, auctio, from augēre "to increase" — related to augment

Legal Definition

auction

noun
auc·​tion
: a public sale of property to the highest bidder see also reserve
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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