auction

noun
auc·​tion | \ˈȯk-shən \

Definition of auction 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sale of property to the highest bidder

2 : the act or process of bidding in some card games

auction

verb
auctioned; auctioning\-​sh(ə-​)niŋ \

Definition of auction (Entry 2 of 2)

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This fall, just a few months after Franklin's death, fans of the diva's aesthetic have the opportunity to own a piece of her wardrobe as some of her most iconic ensembles go to sale at auction. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Aretha Franklin's Stage Dresses Are Going Up for Auction," 11 Sep. 2018 Employees and volunteers take what comes their way: animals relinquished by owners or rescued from abuse or neglect cases, or unwanted creatures that didn’t sell at auction that owners are happy to have taken off their hands. Longreads, "Wild At Heart," 17 May 2018 There are roughly 400 Sears and Kmart stores earmarked for the sale process, and an auction has been proposed for January. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "Creditors Question Viability of Sears Stores," 12 Nov. 2018 Banksy’s Girl With Balloon, which recently became the most expensive piece of performance art sold at an auction, was meant to be shredded completely, according to a video Banksy uploaded on YouTube. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The Catholic sex abuse reckoning continues in Pennsylvania," 19 Oct. 2018 In 2014, an auction of Mrs. Kennedy’s deeply personal letters to an Irish priest was halted, and the letters were returned to the family after lawyers for her daughter objected. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "Jacqueline Kennedy’s Notes for Dallas Are Found, Starting a Quiet Tug of War," 2 July 2018 The event, which had a $25 entrance fee, included an auction and raffles, police said. Olivia Quintana, BostonGlobe.com, "Hyannis woman arrested for stealing items at fundraiser honoring Sgt. Sean Gannon," 24 June 2018 The retailer does not match prices from outlet, discount, flash sale, auction or club websites, or from regional or non-U.S.-based stores and websites, according to its policy. Doreen Christensen, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Forget Prime Day. These 10 stores will price-match Amazon every day of the week," 9 July 2018 One auction for an empty canister with the 2018 packaging is up to $449 on eBay. Madison Roberts, PEOPLE.com, "Planters Cheez Balls Are Returning to Stores After Nearly 12 Years," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sotheby’s will auction the voice recorder from the June 1963 mission piloted by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Your Chance to Own a Piece of the Moon," 25 Nov. 2018 On July 21, Heritage Auctions will be auctioning off 27 items personally owned by the late singer Prince in Dallas, Texas. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "Prince's Bible, Stage-Worn Clothing and Personal Documents Up for Auction," 11 July 2018 Photo: Bang & Olufsen Sotheby’s will auction off five unique Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 1 speakers this week, which the two companies are calling a celebration of the art of design. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Bang & Olufsen puts five unique BeoSound 1 speakers up for auction," 3 July 2018 Sears will be auctioning 16 of its stores as the company struggles to stay afloat. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Sears store at Twelves Oaks Mall to be sold at auction, remain open," 12 Apr. 2018 The new scene will still feature a sale, but pirates will be auctioning their pilfered loot rather than women. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean is ditching brides-for-sale scene," 16 Mar. 2018 Next month, Christie's will auction the collection of Raine, Countess Spencer, who was perhaps best known as stepmother to Princess Diana. Emily Selter, Town & Country, "The Estate of Princess Diana's Stepmother, Raine, Countess Spencer, Goes Up for Auction," 19 June 2017 Perhaps the most famous example of this is Robert Scull, a New York City taxi tycoon who auctioned off pieces from his collection in 1973. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Why is art so expensive?," 31 Oct. 2018 The Governor wants to raise $270 million over five years by auctioning off $300 million in tax credits. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Silicon Valley, New Jersey," 19 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of auction

Noun

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1723, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auction

Noun

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

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Statistics for auction

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for auction

The first known use of auction was in 1595

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More Definitions for auction

auction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of auction

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a public sale at which things are sold to the people who offer to pay the most

auction

verb

English Language Learners Definition of auction (Entry 2 of 2)

: to sell (something) at an auction

auction

noun
auc·​tion | \ˈȯk-shən \

Kids Definition of auction

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a public sale at which things are sold to those who offer to pay the most

auction

verb
auctioned; auctioning

Kids Definition of auction (Entry 2 of 2)

: to sell at an auction The art was auctioned today.

auction

noun
auc·​tion

Legal Definition of auction 

: a public sale of property to the highest bidder — see also reserve

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More from Merriam-Webster on auction

Spanish Central: Translation of auction

Nglish: Translation of auction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of auction for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about auction

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