\ 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

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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 Greatly reducing, if not eliminating, methane emissions could result in shorter-term climate change gains that help buy more time for the larger effort to be waged. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Targeting methane as big step to slow down global warming," 28 Apr. 2021 Pearson’s decision to buy Bausch & Lomb for $8.7 billion in 2013 is now looking like a smart move and one that could see the company restored to an even greater glory. Jim Osman, Forbes, "A Buried Scandal, Shedding Of Assets, And Forthcoming Spinoff Means Substantial Upside For Bausch Health," 28 Apr. 2021 Mary Ann Pryor, 17, and her friend Lorraine Marie Kelly, 16, wanted to buy bathing suits for an upcoming trip to the Jersey Shore on Aug. 9, 1974. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "NJ ‘Torso Killer’ pleads guilty to cold case murders of 2 girls in 1974," 28 Apr. 2021 The Air Force plans to buy at least 100 of the planes for a maximum of $665 million. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The B-21 Raider Is on Time and on Budget. That’s a Miracle.," 27 Apr. 2021 Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has agreed to buy email security firm Proofpoint for $12.3 billion. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Welcome to the corporate woke wars," 27 Apr. 2021 Vistra, which had contracts to buy gas for about $3 per million British thermal units, had to pay $200 to $700. Dallas News, "More storm damage: Texas freeze losses rise to $1.6 billion for Vistra, turning profits into red ink," 26 Apr. 2021 Financial firm Blackstone has signed a definitive agreement to buy eOne Music from Hasbro for $385 million, the companies announced Monday (April 26). Ed Christman, Billboard, "Blackstone Is Buying eOne Music, Including Death Row Catalog, for $385M," 26 Apr. 2021 Conventional economics suggests that the best way to limit greenhouse gas emissions is either to impose a carbon tax or to create a cap-and-trade system in which polluters must buy permits for their emissions. Arkansas Online, "PAUL KRUGMAN: Getting real about coal and climate," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Specifics will matter, though, as will the level of buy-in from government bodies that can actually effect change. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "An Ambitious Plan to Tackle Ransomware Faces Long Odds," 29 Apr. 2021 That takes a buy-in in terms of effort and commitment. Omari Sankofa Ii, USA TODAY, "NBA Roundtable: Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks on the rebound. But how long can it last?," 28 Apr. 2021 Not only is the solution likely to be a better one, but its implementation and adoption will be more effective due to a higher degree of buy-in from all involved. Kotter, Forbes, "Lessons From Lincoln And Mandela For Today’s Leaders," 28 Apr. 2021 Seeking buy-in from congressional Republicans, Biden stopped short of proposing to expand the estate tax. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s ‘Families Plan’ would tax rich to help schools, childcare, community college and more," 28 Apr. 2021 The lack of buy-in isn’t surprising to George, who saw a similar roadblock as a developer of a different form of noninvasive brain stimulation: transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of persistent depression. Katie Palmer, STAT, "A new crop of medical devices are trying to hack the vagus nerve to treat disease," 24 Apr. 2021 Biden thinks the infrastructure plan deserves Republican buy-in. Philip Elliott, Time, "There’s Nothing Stopping Democrats from Going it Alone on Infrastructure — Except Democrats," 23 Apr. 2021 But opponents of the park’s plan are urging the agency’s governing board to withhold buy-in anyway. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Point Reyes plan for cattle ranches, elk herds faces impassioned opposition ahead of key vote," 21 Apr. 2021 This has been top-to-bottom buy-in to a more disciplined approach, there have been occasions when the Rangers have gotten too passive and appear to seek walks. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "He looks and plays like one, but is it too early to wonder if Rangers’ Adolis Garcia might be a superstar?," 21 Apr. 2021

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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
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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