\ ˈbī How to pronounce buy (audio) \
bought\ ˈbȯt How to pronounce buy (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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Synonyms for buy

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of buy in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun four cartons of ice cream for four dollars is a real buy
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Funds to buy the gift cards were privately donated and did not come from taxpayer resources, according to the commission. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 4 June 2021 Tickets are $10; check the website for locations to buy tickets or order them online. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 June 2021 The military has said the lights were the result of a training session involving flares, an explanation many didn’t buy. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, The Arizona Republic, 4 June 2021 With winemaker Sam Kaplan at the helm and agreements to buy fruit from outstanding vineyards like Beckstoffer rather than invest in their own land, the trio began building their production—and started turning heads. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 3 June 2021 MediaMath operates a demand-side platform that helps advertisers buy targeted ads using automation. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, 3 June 2021 Black has become a cautionary tale for all the youngbloods currently amassing buy-an-island wealth on tech’s latest big idea. Bob Ivry, Town & Country, 3 June 2021 The way shoppers buy and wear the shoe has changed, too. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Encouraging an existing customer to buy more from you can be equally as (or more) lucrative as acquiring a new customer. Square Contributor, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From sea to shining sea, Graduate Hotel’s will once again be offering travelers the chance to stay at all 30 of its U.S properties for a one-time buy in of $500. Michelle Gross, Forbes, 2 June 2021 For those itching to get away, the pitches for the latest buy now, pay later programs are enticing. USA Today, 2 May 2021 For years, Beijing blocked foreign websites and policed content on domestic platforms, but let homegrown tech firms like Alibaba and Tencent buy rivals, develop new products and expand. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2021 Flash mobs of retail traders gathering on social media and targeting an asset for a mass-buy has been a hallmark of cryptocurrency trading for years. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 8 Apr. 2021 But state lawmakers set aside another $8 million for a second, larger drug buy from Richards. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Apr. 2021 Trust us: Your relaxed tootsies will thank you endlessly for this buy. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, 8 Dec. 2020 And Costco is world headquarters for the impulse buy. Nerd Wallet, cleveland, 26 Nov. 2020 That coveted piece was bought by the rapper Logic, and although purchases of that size aren’t common, the impetus for the buy seems to transcend the cost. Dina Gachman, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for buy

Time Traveler

The first known use of buy was before the 12th century

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Statistics for buy

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Buy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on buy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buy

Nglish: Translation of buy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buy for Arabic Speakers


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