\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, pennyworth, snip [British], 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

Housing affordability is good, but when homes get more expensive to replace than to buy the market turns dysfunctional. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The tragedy of Amazon’s HQ2 selections, explained," 9 Nov. 2018 In typical Kardashian-Jenner fashion, the makeup mogul went above and beyond to buy her mom something a little more extravagant than some nice roses. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Buys Kris Jenner $250,000 Ferrari 488," 30 Oct. 2018 Don't even bother fighting the urge to buy all of these dish towels. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Christmas Has Arrived At Target And Yep, It’s Magical," 30 Oct. 2018 The Extended Range Cannon Artillery program is an attempt to buy more distance versus Russian artillery by improving existing American guns. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s New Howitzer Barrel is Ridiculously Long," 17 Oct. 2018 Jack takes Kevin to buy a model plane to build in a flashback, and uncharacteristically yells at him when Kevin starts playing with toy guns and grenades. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 The government of the northern state of Chihuahua reported that three people were arrested in Ciudad Juarez for allegedly trying to buy votes for an unnamed political party. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador set to win Mexico presidential election as rivals concede," 2 Oct. 2018 See photos of today's look here: Her Aquazzura pumps are still available to buy: Oceania celebrates art from the Oceania region, featuring roughly 200 works from collections worldwide spanning a time period of over 500 years. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Wore a Sleek Black Givenchy Dress For Her First Solo Event," 25 Sep. 2018 Brands That Retain Value AptDeco, which launched in 2013, is an online platform that allows you to buy and sell used furniture with a major benefit. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "An Expert's Top Advice for Selling Furniture Online," 13 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Even without a buy-in price, that’s quite literally a pyramid scheme. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "This new would-be currency isn’t crypto — but is it for real?," 8 Nov. 2018 The university spent eight years reviewing its plans and goals with the Cambridge community and getting local buy-in. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018 Apple is pushing educational programs like Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create to recruit developers and creatives to its devices, but the buy-in for a MacBook Pro or iMac is very steep. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "What Apple might announce at its October 30 “special event” in Brooklyn," 26 Oct. 2018 This is a collectible card game through and through, however, and like with many digital card games, the $20 is just the buy-in fee. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Artifact, Valve's first new PC game in 5 years, gets a price and release date," 1 Aug. 2018 The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has run a seven-figure TV advertising buy against the Republican, hoping to knock him out of contention. NBC News, "Rohrabacher faces reelection: California's most endangered Republican," 2 June 2018 Getting buy-in Others are buying into Marian's vision, too. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "How Marian University is working to help solve the teaching shortage," 9 Apr. 2018 Swap, a quarterly buy, sell and trade fest in San Antonio, has drawn on average around 300 Pop fans per swap meet since its December 2015 debut. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio one of many cities madly collecting Funko Pop! figures," 6 Apr. 2018 The pizza-buffet chain is offering a buy one adult buffet, get a second buffet for $3.14 on March 14 only. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Go ahead and make (ir)rational choices for National Pi Day. Your stomach will thank you | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 13 Mar. 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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Learn More about buy

Dictionary Entries near buy





buy a pup


buy boat

Statistics for buy

Last Updated

13 Nov 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

What made you want to look up buy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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