\ ˈbī \
bought\ˈbȯt \; 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 into buy 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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Other words from buy


buyer \ˈbī(-ə)r \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for buy

Synonyms: Verb

accept, believe, credit, swallow, take, trust

Synonyms: Noun

bargain, deal, steal

Antonyms: Verb

disbelieve, discredit, reject

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Examples of buy in a Sentence


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.


four cartons of ice cream for four dollars is a real buy
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sharif's son-in-law is currently serving his one-year prison sentence on the same charge, which stems from the purchase of luxury apartments in Britain that the court said were bought with illegally acquired money. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018 Mexico is also the United States' third-largest trading partner for goods, with the U.S. buying about 80 percent of Mexico's exports, including automobiles, fruit, vegetables and beer. Susannah George,, "Mexico officials urge Mike Pompeo to reunite immigrant families quickly," 13 July 2018 Filled with ridiculously discounted buys that range from the store's affordable in-house label to designer digs from of-the-moment brands like of Rejina Pyo, America’s top go-to retailer truly knows how to throw a discount party., "How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 13 July 2018 Trademark boulders Berrada, 49, started buying Milwaukee rental properties in the 1990s. Kevin Crowe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'He'll evict you in a minute.' Landlord quietly becomes a force in Milwaukee rental business...and eviction court," 13 July 2018 Eversource, which bought Aquarion Water Co. last year and is looking for another, similar acquisition, jumped in with a $750 million offer. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut Water: Eversource Pushes 'Misinformation Campaign' In Purchase Attempt," 13 July 2018 The technology funding proposal includes $11.3 million to replace staff computers and buy new laptops for teachers and another $8.6 million to replace 7,000 telephone sets and fund other phone system upgrades. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend ISD officials propose $178 million technology package for not-yet-approved school bond election," 13 July 2018 At Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston, about 85 percent of customers lease rather than buy cars, said Rhonda Jensen, Bowman's general manager. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "General Motors topping Ford in pickup market share," 12 July 2018 Ownership and management need to decide their direction ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, whether to sell, buy or do both, based on where the team stands. Henry Schulman,, "Giants face white-hot A’s at crucial decision-making time," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of the homes are being constructed with two master bedrooms, a design strategy by builder Reynen & Bardis to help a young single professional buy a home and bring on a housemate to help pay the mortgage. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "Remember the old state fairgrounds? It’s Sacramento’s newest urban housing hot spot," 12 July 2018 Grossman, who had raised just $22,529 before the primary, was not getting air cover from the party, and the district’s media market was not included in buys by either the NRCC or Republican super PACs. David Weigel, Washington Post, "Republicans pull endorsement of New Jersey candidate, citing ‘bigotry’," 9 July 2018 This will keep you and help prevent frivolous buys. Melissa Reinert,, "Yard sale shopper: Prepare and beware," 5 July 2018 Investigators gathered information through surveillance, wiretaps, undercover drug buys and other ways, the affidavit said. Christine Dempsey,, "Feds: Police Target Gang Members, Dealers In City, East Hartford; 9 Arrested," 20 June 2018 Helmer's campaign manager, Bonnie Krenz, says the campaign poured half a million dollars into a joint television and digital advertisement buy. Elizabeth Landers, CNN, "Democratic House candidate in Virginia compares Trump to Osama bin Laden," 30 May 2018 So far, most people seem to be happy with one of the inexpensive, modestly powered, plasticky clamshells that made Chromebooks an easy buy for entry-level users and the huge education market. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a classy product rising above a mob of cheap clamshells," 24 May 2018 CHIPOTLE Teachers can stop in on May 8 starting at 3 p.m. for a buy/one get free offer. Joey Morona,, "Where teachers can get free food during Teacher Appreciation Week," 7 May 2018 However, Premier League clubs West Ham and Liverpool have both registered their interest with Barcelona who, according to Goal, are insisting on retaining a buy-back clause for the 23-year-old., "West Ham Join Everton and Liverpool in Race for Barcelona Defender After Impressive World Cup," 11 July 2018

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


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


see buy entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near buy





buy a pup


buy boat

Statistics for buy

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buy

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

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More Definitions for buy



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

: 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 \
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

Spanish Central: Translation of buy

Nglish: Translation of buy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on buy

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an open space surrounded by woods

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