\ ˈbī How to pronounce buy (audio) \
bought\ ˈbȯt How to pronounce buy (audio) \; buying

Definition of buy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to acquire possession, ownership, or rights to the use or services of by payment especially of money : purchase buy a car buying stock in the company bought us dinner
2a : to obtain in exchange for something often at a sacrifice They bought peace with their freedom.
b Christianity : redeem sense 6 bought us with his blood
3 : bribe, hire buy a public official
4 : to be the purchasing equivalent of The dollar buys less today than it used to.
5 : accept, believe I don't buy that hooey. often used with intobuy into a compromise

intransitive verb

: to make a purchase Now is a good time to buy.
buy into
: to purchase a portion of or interest in the TV network bought into its local football team
buy it or buy the farm
: to get killed : die
buy time
: to delay an imminent action or decision : stall



Definition of buy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something of value at a favorable price especially : bargain It's a real buy at that price.
2 : an act of acquiring possession, ownership, or rights to the use or services of something by payment especially of money : an act of buying (see buy entry 1 sense 1) : purchase an undercover drug buy

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Synonyms for buy

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of buy in a Sentence

Verb I bought this hat for $10. He bought the quilt from a local artist. Stock prices are low, so now is a good time to buy. He said it was a mistake, but I don't buy it. Noun four cartons of ice cream for four dollars is a real buy
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb How to buy the best disposable face masks, according to experts. NBC News, "Warnock's projected win in Georgia brings Dems closer to Senate control," 6 Jan. 2021 Secondly, can’t these kids just buy a new snake on the internet? Brian Moylan, Vulture, "Cobra Kai Recap: Ali Want for Christmas," 4 Jan. 2021 Customers can also buy a three-topping stuffed crust pizza for $11.99 for a limited time at participating restaurants. Chauncey Alcorn, CNN, "Pizza Hut rolls out a new stuffed crust — minus the pizza," 4 Jan. 2021 Fans who are hoping to check out the special reunion can buy tickets over at StageIt, where the show will also be taking place on Saturday, January 9, starting at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "The Voice Cast of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is Reuniting and Your Biggest Faves are Back," 4 Jan. 2021 But the players buy in and that’s an understated factor in their success. Globe Staff,, "Baseball’s offseason moves are off to a slow start," 2 Jan. 2021 Just buy a bare rack and stock it with good spices, like selections from Burlap & Barrel. Matt Jancer, Wired, "How to Cook in Your Tiny Kitchen (and Stay Sane)," 1 Jan. 2021 Because of the pandemic, visitors must buy timed tickets in advance. Los Angeles Times, "Do this L.A. night hike on New Year’s Eve," 31 Dec. 2020 Using the threat of a jet sweep or a downfield pass as misdirection helps buy time for RB Travis Etienne and his lead blockers to get out on the perimeter and get attached to their blocking assignments. cleveland, "Can Ohio State football find an answer to Clemson’s pressure offense after its 2019 experience? Film Analysis," 30 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The news release did not include specific dollar amounts and repeatedly criticized the governor for her orders; that's a sign the proposal lacks administrative buy-in. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan indoor dining ban extended to Jan. 15; theaters, casinos, other venues can reopen," 18 Dec. 2020 Not even the best efforts will succeed without buy-in from the board and CEO, and sufficient support of those entrusted to deploy a diversity strategy. Pamela Newkirk, WSJ, "After 2020, How Do We Move Forward on Race?," 14 Dec. 2020 The Paris agreement, the first plan to fight climate change with buy-in from nearly every nation on Earth, was finalized five years ago on Saturday. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Companies with serious climate goals are beating the market," 10 Dec. 2020 Switching from lethal to nonlethal measures widely, however, is tough without more buy-in from government and ranchers. Max G. Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Non-Lethal Methods Encouraged by Science Can Keep Wolves From Killing Livestock," 11 Dec. 2020 That buy-in has carried over into training camp, with Bickerstaff praising Nance for his non-stop communication on defense. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Is Cleveland Cavaliers’ big lineup of Larry Nance Jr., Andre Drummond and Kevin Love here to stay?," 10 Dec. 2020 That’s not to say that a Harden buy-in isn’t possible. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Harden with eyes for Heat? Fine, but would it cloud Riley’s vision? | Commentary," 10 Dec. 2020 Magnus had buy-in and support from his boss, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, and the big boss, former Disney CEO Bob Iger, to pursue a deal. John Talty |, al, "Inside the SEC’s decision to leave CBS for ESPN," 10 Dec. 2020 Stakeholder capitalism is today a means of acquiring corporate buy-in to the Davos political agenda. Alexander William Salter, WSJ, "Profit Keeps Corporate Leaders Honest," 8 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buy.' 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 buy


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for buy

Verb and Noun

Middle English byen, from Old English bycgan; akin to Goth bugjan to buy

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Time Traveler for buy

Time Traveler

The first known use of buy was before the 12th century

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Statistics for buy

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for buy


How to pronounce buy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of buy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to get (something) by paying money for it
of money : to be able to get something
informal : to accept or believe (something) as true



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

used to describe something that is being sold
: an act of buying something


\ ˈbī How to pronounce buy (audio) \
bought\ ˈbȯt \; buying

Kids Definition of buy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to get by paying for : purchase

Other Words from buy

buyer noun



Kids Definition of buy (Entry 2 of 2)

: bargain entry 1 sense 2 I got a good buy at the grocery store.

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More from Merriam-Webster on buy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buy

Nglish: Translation of buy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buy for Arabic Speakers

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