\ ˈbī How to pronounce buy (audio) \
bought\ ˈbȯt How to pronounce bought (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 Plastic surgeons may buy mansions, but geriatricians clip coupons. Monya De, STAT, "Why medical school should start at age 28," 17 Feb. 2020 Heavy rain has bought severe flooding to parts of Mississippi and Tennessee, leaving up to 1,000 homes flooded across the two states as officials caution that more rain is expected in the coming days. Josiah Bates, Time, "Mississippi and Tennessee Have Been Deluged With Near-Record Levels of Flooding. Here's What to Know," 17 Feb. 2020 The new Kenyan government officials could get British loans to buy colonial land and strengthen their control over the country’s main economic resource. Anaïs Angelo Chercheuse, Quartz Africa, "Why Kenya’s pre-independence rebel fighters Mau Mau gave up their fight," 13 Feb. 2020 Even though Dirty Lemon will be sold at Walmart, Normandin hopes that customers will ultimately buy the product directly from Dirty Lemon's website. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "This pricey drink was sold by text message. Now it's hitting Walmart shelves," 12 Feb. 2020 After a bingo night, she was killed on her way to buy a Greyhound bus ticket home. Annie Hylton, Longreads, "Searching For Mackie," 12 Feb. 2020 Williams told Ars that most of his clients are still buying Velodyne lidars. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How lidar makers are coping with slow progress of self-driving tech," 11 Feb. 2020 What became clear last year, as companies like Uber and Lyft went public, and WeWork aborted, was that public markets largely weren’t buying the stories these companies and their private investors told. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "When did selling mattresses become a tech business?," 9 Feb. 2020 Records show that since the initial violation identified by auditors, Worthington has bought an additional $150,000 in e-cigarettes from Gray without bidding. R.g. Dunlop, ProPublica, "How These Jail Officials Profit From Selling E-Cigarettes to Inmates," 7 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Buffett's conservative buy-and-hold investing style is credited for popularizing value investing. Alexander Coolidge,, "Warren Buffett buys $500M stake in Kroger," 17 Feb. 2020 North Texas’ largest 2019 commercial property buy — the $584.2 million purchase of Pioneer Natural Resources’ new Irving headquarters — was driven by offshore investment. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "South Korean real estate buyers are sold on Dallas," 17 Feb. 2020 Carmona suggested letting the model run the show by digesting all the various pieces of data and spitting out buy-and-sell decisions. Gregory Zuckerman, Quartz, "The history of blunders and missteps that led to the quant trading revolution," 6 Nov. 2019 Such a determination would jeopardize the university’s aggressive buy-and-build schedule. San Diego Union-Tribune, "City concerned with SDSU’s analysis of Mission Valley stadium and campus," 7 Oct. 2019 For subscribers: Beto O’Rourke calls for ban of assault-style guns, mandatory buy-back program Republican Lt. Allie Morris And Benjamin Wermund,, "Gov. Abbott: No special session on guns, red flag laws," 16 Aug. 2019 One is a tax reform in 2016 that subjected buy-to-let investors to higher stamp duty, a tax on property purchases. The Economist, "Wobbles in Britain’s housing market may augur something worse," 19 July 2019 The ad buy is worth more than each of the remaining four candidates in the race has raised, according to campaign finance reports. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chris Abele-funded political group making a six-figure ad buy for county exec candidate David Crowley," 31 Jan. 2020 The other buy, targeted at voters age 18-44, is a more traditional Sanders campaign ad that shows people marching, working and rallying - ending with a shot of Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Yang says rivals want Iowa alliance," 29 Jan. 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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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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

Spanish Central: Translation of buy

Nglish: Translation of buy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buy for Arabic Speakers

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