\ 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 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 How to pronounce buyer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for buy

Synonyms: Verb

cop [slang], pick up, purchase, take

Synonyms: Noun

bargain, deal, pennyworth, snip [British], steal

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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

Everything has worked out for the 19-year-old, celebrity daughter whose parents bought her way into college. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Olivia Jade's Beauty Brand Trademark Has Been Approved, Grammar Be Damned," 9 Apr. 2019 The Navy is also buying 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon’s 2020 Budget Asks for Nearly 380 Aircraft, But One Buy Is Raising Eyebrows," 13 Mar. 2019 Chip and Joanna bought three properties in under a month. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Are Chip and Joanna Gaines Secretly Filming for Their New TV Network? An Investigation," 12 Mar. 2019 Tiny homes like these can be bought, built, and even 3D printed, but this rare Western Pacific Airstream still has a classic feel with a completely unique design and story. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Rare Airstream Trailer Was Transformed Into the Cutest Tiny Home," 28 Mar. 2019 Advertising But neither Lion Air nor Ethiopian had bought these extra features. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Boeing defends 737 MAX’s cockpit add-ons, begins new pilot information sessions," 26 Mar. 2019 Unfortunately, the answer has to do more with what Rudd has sold than with any product he's bought. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Paul Rudd Finally Shares His Skin-Care Secrets," 25 Mar. 2019 It was discovered in the early 17th century and bought by Harry Winston in the 1940s, and is now on display at the Smithsonian, where it is visited by millions. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Jennifer Lopez's Pink Diamond Made Her an Engagement Ring Influencer," 23 Mar. 2019 There have been a lot of freebies, so who knows how many people are buying, but the store is gaining some traction at least. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "The Epic Games Store won't always push for exclusives 'at this scale'," 21 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Throw in that speedy new Apple chip that comes with it and the new iPad is a solid buy for consumers. Brooke Crothers, Fox News, "Cheaper 2018 iPad is a steal for consumers," 2 Apr. 2018 Kumin said the chairs are a good buy in that they can be used even if the pool site is converted into a splash park. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "Richmond Heights Council, committee to discuss pool's future; Hilltop Plaza up for auction," 7 Feb. 2018 The launch also includes a six-figure Web ad buy on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, Cavalier said. Dino Grandoni, The Seattle Times, "California billionaire Tom Steyer inches closer to 2020 White House bid," 20 Nov. 2018 Google’s new Pixel 3 phones are almost here, and the company is pulling out all the stops to make sure that everyone knows about them: the phones have a five-day ad buy for the entire week of Jimmy Kimmel Live! Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Google’s Pixel 3 was used to film part of Eminem’s performance on top of the Empire State Building," 15 Oct. 2018 The Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative political campaign organization, launched a seven-figure ad buy Wednesday, aimed at vulnerable Democrats, said chief counsel and policy director Carrie Severino. CBS News, "Supreme Court nomination, confirmation process likely to mimic Gorsuch playbook," 29 June 2018 Cellphone records showed that someone used Thomas' girlfriend's phone to call Juarez's relative before the buy. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis man gets 55 years in prison in slaying set up via Offer Up app," 29 June 2018 After sitting on his campaign cash for weeks, Baltimore State’s Attorney candidate Thiru Vignarajah on Wednesday launched a $200,000 ad buy for the final week before the June 26 Democratic primary election. Tim Prudente,, "Baltimore state's attorney candidate Thiru Vignarajah launches $200K radio, TV ad push," 20 June 2018 The ad, which highlights Nelson's biography and Senate record, its part of a $2.2 million statewide buy. Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "Scott blitzes Florida with TV ads. Nelson holds off. That's how Scott won last time.," 21 May 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

Verb and Noun

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

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Learn More about buy

Dictionary Entries near buy





buy a pup


buy boat

Statistics for buy

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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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
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

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).


an enemy or opponent

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