\ 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 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition, eligible households may qualify to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop or tablet computer from certain participating providers. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 10 May 2022 So Brazil and other countries found other ways to buy from Russia. New York Times, 8 May 2022 Now the company has also removed the ability to buy ebooks from the Kindle app, and has halted sales made via the Amazon Music app, too. Nathaniel Mott, PCMAG, 8 May 2022 The district plans to buy 14,000 acre-feet from Deer Creek and another 5,000 acre-feet of Echo water shares on the Provo River to shore up supplies, according to a news release from the Division of Water Resources. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 May 2022 Urban Tilth had offered to buy the land from Nabeta and expand the farm, but Nabeta was already in contract with Panattoni. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Gunn would approve vendors to buy generators and other power equipment from local retailers on behalf of Wayne County. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 3 May 2022 The Covid-19 pandemic has fueled an existing trend of brands seeking a more direct relationship with the people who buy from them. Megan Graham, WSJ, 3 May 2022 The South Asian island is facing its worst economic crisis in decades, as a rapid decline in its foreign reserves leave it unable to buy necessary goods from overseas and unable to make debt payments to foreign bondholders. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 29 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amplified by a pliant Russian media, the pretext appears to enjoy widespread public buy-in. Patrick Galey, NBC News, 8 May 2022 Acknowledging employees’ mental health and wellbeing as a source of motivation, professional development, and ultimately corporate buy-in is the pathway towards trust. Jonathan Kaufman, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Assessments by EFInA and GMSA agree that big awareness drives in the target areas will be needed to get consumer buy-in. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 5 May 2022 For the tag sale, the early bird buy-in to over 4,000 square feet of bargains is $5 per person from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 6. Hartford Courant, 30 Apr. 2022 According to Mehlhorn, something that has helped the team this season is receiving buy-in from football players and juniors who have not competed in track and field before. Drew Schott, The Arizona Republic, 30 Apr. 2022 On Thursday, Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard cleared the second-biggest hurdle remaining in their plan to complete a $68.7 billion acquisition deal: existing shareholder buy-in. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2022 Depending on the race, the buy-in could range from $2 to $50. J.l. Kirven, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2022 Depending on the race, the buy-in could range from $2 to $50. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near buy



buy a pup

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for buy


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on buy

Nglish: Translation of buy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buy for Arabic Speakers


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