\ 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

American consumers and companies are buying fewer cars, trucks and tractors and building fewer houses. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Factories Throttle Back, Pressuring U.S. Economy," 9 June 2019 Never fear—check out our iPhone buying guide and favorite Android phones 📩 Hungry for even more deep dives on your next favorite topic? Klint Finley, WIRED, "More Trouble for Huawei: No More Facebook on New Phones," 7 June 2019 Likewise, Amazon’s bird’s-eye view into what people are buying on its marketplace may confer an undue advantage on its competing private-label goods. Bloomberg View, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Don’t declare war on big tech," 7 June 2019 Under one scenario discussed, UTA could buy Paradigm outright, adding a powerhouse music client list that includes Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, as well as a robust television and literary business. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "UTA-Paradigm Deal Chatter Heats Up as Agencies Feel Urge to Merge," 7 June 2019 The safe is believed to have been bought in 1907, according to the BBC. Fox News, "Tourist's lucky guess cracks safe that had been locked for 40 years," 7 June 2019 As a company, Huff is dedicated to the full-service approach to real estate that includes buy, sell, mortgage, title, insurance, warranty, rentals, and relocations. Sheila Vilvens,, "Top Workplaces Cincy: TQL, Sibcy Cline and Huff Realtors lead large division," 5 June 2019 As a one-stop purchasing program, Outdoorsy will provide factory-direct access—including financing and insurance—for anyone who wants to buy an RV. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Buying a camper van just got easier with new website," 5 June 2019 That's largely because people aren't clamoring to buy or rent them. USA Today, "'Can't pay their bills with love': For many teaching jobs, teachers' pay can't cover rent," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With the sun illuminating your house of personal resources, impulse buys are kind of your thing and your money is burning a hole in your pocket. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What April’s Pisces Horoscope Means for You," 31 Mar. 2019 According to PBS NewsHour, Ryan also voted for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) and has previously introduced legislation to extend a Medicare buy-in to people ages 50-64. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B Said She Hates Donald Trump and Might Support Bernie Sanders in 2020," 16 Apr. 2019 Special offer: Verizon is currently hosting a buy-one-get-one offer for the Pixel 3 for both new and returning customers. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "This is how much Google’s Pixel 3 costs at Verizon, Best Buy, and Google Store," 15 Oct. 2018 Only half of analysts polled by FactSet rate the stock a buy. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "No Longer on the Ropes, WWE Has More Upside," 28 Aug. 2018 There are places, such as Einsten Bros. Bagels, that do something special (in this case, offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal from its Flavors Across America menu, featuring bagles inspired by cuisines of the Southwest, Midwest and South). Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "DFW restaurants get patriotic with red-white-and-blue creations for July 4," 29 June 2018 On May 26, the grand opening, the restaurant will extend a buy-one/get-one offer on burritos and bowls (limit two per person). Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "New U’Maki Sushi Burrito opens in Katy," 18 May 2018 Some restaurants adjust the offer to a buy-one, get-one free entree. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Mother's Day restaurant deals to help you celebrate," 10 May 2018 Early bird buy to 3,500-square feet of bargains: $5 per person from 10:30 to noon Friday, May 4. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam Edition," 17 Apr. 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

12 Jun 2019

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
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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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