\ 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

These loans let private-equity firms buy companies now and send the bill to investors later. Chris Cumming, WSJ, "Pensions Don’t Always Track How Much Is Borrowed Against Their Names," 5 May 2019 During the 2006 season, more than 30,000 people came to the farm to buy pumpkins and participate in the fall festivities. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Amy Roloff's Net Worth Goes Way Beyond 'Little People, Big World'," 2 Apr. 2019 The website suggests buying at 5 a.m. for the best deals, and avoiding the hours of 8-11 p.m. Do flight prices go down on Tuesdays? Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's the Best Time to Book Your Summer Travel," 27 Feb. 2019 But The Farm has now bought the convent that the Sisters of Quiet Mercy used to inhabit, and seem to be stepping up their creepy game just in time to become a major threat for the second half of the season. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale Just Revealed Who The Real Gargoyle King Is," 24 Jan. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Cé La Vi lures a stylish crowd of couples and friends kicking off the weekend with a bang, and the place often fills up for buy-one-get-one-free happy hour (3 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday). Kate Springer, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Bars in Hong Kong," 27 Feb. 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

15 May 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

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