\ 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, 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

Sharif's son-in-law is currently serving his one-year prison sentence on the same charge, which stems from the purchase of luxury apartments in Britain that the court said were bought with illegally acquired money. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018 Mexico is also the United States' third-largest trading partner for goods, with the U.S. buying about 80 percent of Mexico's exports, including automobiles, fruit, vegetables and beer. Susannah George,, "Mexico officials urge Mike Pompeo to reunite immigrant families quickly," 13 July 2018 Filled with ridiculously discounted buys that range from the store's affordable in-house label to designer digs from of-the-moment brands like of Rejina Pyo, America’s top go-to retailer truly knows how to throw a discount party., "How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 13 July 2018 Trademark boulders Berrada, 49, started buying Milwaukee rental properties in the 1990s. Kevin Crowe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'He'll evict you in a minute.' Landlord quietly becomes a force in Milwaukee rental business...and eviction court," 13 July 2018 Eversource, which bought Aquarion Water Co. last year and is looking for another, similar acquisition, jumped in with a $750 million offer. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut Water: Eversource Pushes 'Misinformation Campaign' In Purchase Attempt," 13 July 2018 The technology funding proposal includes $11.3 million to replace staff computers and buy new laptops for teachers and another $8.6 million to replace 7,000 telephone sets and fund other phone system upgrades. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend ISD officials propose $178 million technology package for not-yet-approved school bond election," 13 July 2018 At Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston, about 85 percent of customers lease rather than buy cars, said Rhonda Jensen, Bowman's general manager. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "General Motors topping Ford in pickup market share," 12 July 2018 Ownership and management need to decide their direction ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, whether to sell, buy or do both, based on where the team stands. Henry Schulman,, "Giants face white-hot A’s at crucial decision-making time," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, Premier League clubs West Ham and Liverpool have both registered their interest with Barcelona who, according to Goal, are insisting on retaining a buy-back clause for the 23-year-old., "West Ham Join Everton and Liverpool in Race for Barcelona Defender After Impressive World Cup," 11 July 2018 The buy gives the ride-share company control over big-name systems like DC’s Capital Bikeshare, NYC’s CitiBike, and the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Lofty Goals, Raw Ambition," 7 July 2018 No net neutrality or privacy rules AT&T was able to complete the buy of Time Warner after a federal judge ruled against a Department of Justice lawsuit that sought to block the merger. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T is already planning more acquisitions, days after buying Time Warner," 18 June 2018 Major Republican primaries That disparity is partly driven by the kinds of races that have seen the biggest ad buys. Craig Gilbert, USA TODAY, "Support for Donald Trump a constant theme in Republican ads for midterms," 17 May 2018 Time How many Christian McCaffrey jerseys will $1,500 buy? Dave Clark,, "Dan Smoker Sr. gets gift after Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey helped save him during hike," 27 June 2018 In a state with quickly shifting demographics, Rosen has targeted Latino voters early as part of a six-figure digital ad buy, releasing ads in both English and Spanish highlighting her support for DREAMers. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Heller is the only Republican senator up for reelection in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.," 11 June 2018 The group is now moving ahead with a pro-free trade campaign that will include media buys, activist education, grass-roots mobilization, lobbying and policy analysis. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Koch Brothers To Spend Millions Fighting Against Trump’s Trade War Agenda," 4 June 2018 At about the same time, his then-mistress closed on a $1-million house that Cabrera helped her buy, along with a Range Rover. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Miguel Cabrera, ex-mistress headed to trial over child support in November," 22 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


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


see buy entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near buy





buy a pup


buy boat

Statistics for buy

Last Updated

18 Sep 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).


to make amends

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