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bought ˈbȯt How to pronounce buy (audio) ; buying

transitive verb

: 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
: to obtain in exchange for something often at a sacrifice
They bought peace with their freedom.
Christianity : redeem sense 6
bought us with his blood
: bribe, hire
buy a public official
: to be the purchasing equivalent of
The dollar buys less today than it used to.
: accept, believe
I don't buy that hooey.
often used with into
buy into a compromise

intransitive verb

: to make a purchase
Now is a good time to buy.


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: something of value at a favorable price
especially : bargain
It's a real buy at that price.
: 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
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
This validates, once again, the rumor that overseas SOE profits would be steered through Connect to buy Mainland stocks. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Always the salesman, Winkle treated trucking company officials to lunch, giving them gifts of fishing gear bought online from China. Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 Public health advocates have pushed for more financial incentives to encourage people to buy EVs. Jen Christensen, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Take Our Word For It is a senior commerce editor at PEOPLE who writes and edits everything from the best work shoes to the best places to buy dresses. Erika Reals, Peoplemag, 21 Feb. 2024 Top bought in immediately, and this time around, so did McCubbin. Tom Roland, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2024 Some camellias are fall bloomers, so check the label before buying. Katelyn Chef, Southern Living, 9 Feb. 2024 On another party-line vote of 21-19, the Senate passed a bill that would require that anyone seeking to buy a firearm first demonstrate competency with the weapon or offer proof of completing a firearms training course in the previous five years. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 Specialized private equity firms have set up funds to buy passive stakes in franchises in the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Ira Boudway, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024
Treasury bonds were a small buy while copper gained and steel was flat. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The stock has 60 buy ratings, five holds and one sell, among analysts tracked by Bloomberg. Carmen Reinicke, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 Definitely worth the buy.’ Find it on Amazon This Eyelash Seperator Will Change Your Life There’s nothing worse than spending time on the most flawless makeup look, just to end up with clumpy lashes. Mia Meltzer, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 The buy, sell or trade gathering will include plants, cuttings and seeds. Susan Soldavin, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 The trade group TechNet has launched a $25-million initiative, including TV ad buys, to educate viewers on the benefits of artificial intelligence. Darius Tahir, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 There’s the cordless Dyson V8 that’s $120 off (and selling out fast), and for those who want to press a button and let magic happen, this Shark AI Robot Floor Vacuum is a can't-miss buy at 46 percent off. Amber Love Bond, Travel + Leisure, 10 Feb. 2024 The 55-inch TCL Q6 is a solid buy at $319.99 ($180 off), which is its current price at Amazon and Best Buy. Quentyn Kennemer, The Verge, 9 Feb. 2024 From affordable finds to premium buys, trending ones and the all-time classics that stood the test of time, plus a few newer releases that have just landed on the Glamour beauty desk, these are the ones worth trying. Denise Primbet, Glamour, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


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


1879, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near buy

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
bought ˈbȯt How to pronounce buy (audio) ; buying
: to get by paying money for : purchase
: to gain control over by bribery
buy votes
: believe sense 3
I don't buy that nonsense
buyer noun


2 of 2 noun

More from Merriam-Webster on buy

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