caveat emptor

noun
caveat emp·​tor | \ -ˈem(p)-tər How to pronounce caveat emptor (audio) , -ˌtȯr \

Definition of caveat emptor

: a principle in commerce: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk Caveat emptor is a reasonable approach for many consumer products.

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Did You Know?

"Without a warranty, the buyer must take the risk" is the basic meaning of the phrase caveat emptor. In the days when buying and selling was carried on in the local marketplace, the rule was a practical one. Buyer and seller knew each other and were on equal footing. The nature of modern commerce and technology placed the buyer at a disadvantage, however, so a stack of regulations have been written by federal, state, and local agencies to protect the consumer against dangerous or defective products, fraudulent practices, and the like. But the principle that a buyer needs a warranty if he is to avoid risk remains an important legal concept. Note that a caveat is a small warning or explanation intended to avoid misinterpretation.

Examples of caveat emptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For investors chasing the next Baidu Inc. or Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., it’s caveat emptor, a point underscored recently by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg.com, "Pushing for More Scrutiny of Chinese Stocks Traded in the U.S.," 1 Oct. 2020 Despite dramatic scientific breakthroughs, the Internet has recreated the kind of caveat emptor culture for medical advice that existed in the 19th century. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "As coronavirus spreads, dubious books about surviving the epidemic proliferate," 4 Mar. 2020 Whether or not to jailbreak is really a caveat emptor proposition, and certainly not something for casual or novice users. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Jailbreaking: The FAQ," 14 Jan. 2019 Whatever happened to caveat emptor, common sense and the ability to reason? WSJ, "Facebook and Its Fake News Comeuppance," 1 Apr. 2018 Whether or not to jailbreak is really a caveat emptor proposition, and certainly not something for casual or novice users. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Jailbreaking: The FAQ," 14 Jan. 2019 So caveat emptor also enters the equation, which tends to lower any potential return -- or even interest. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Could Kevin Love tempt Heat if made available by Cavs?," 9 June 2018 Whatever happened to caveat emptor, common sense and the ability to reason? WSJ, "Facebook and Its Fake News Comeuppance," 1 Apr. 2018 The group last week designated Crypto as a caveat emptor security, which means that a skull and crossbones icon sits next to the stock symbol on the OTC markets website. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Bitcoin Mania Comes to the Stock Market," 13 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caveat emptor.' 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 caveat emptor

1523, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caveat emptor

New Latin, let the buyer beware

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Time Traveler for caveat emptor

Time Traveler

The first known use of caveat emptor was in 1523

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Statistics for caveat emptor

Last Updated

6 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caveat emptor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caveat%20emptor. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for caveat emptor

caveat emptor

noun
How to pronounce caveat emptor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of caveat emptor

law : the principle that a person who buys something is responsible for making sure that it is in good condition, works properly, etc.

caveat emptor

noun
caveat emp·​tor | \ -ˈemp-tər, -ˌtȯr How to pronounce caveat emptor (audio) \

Legal Definition of caveat emptor

: a principle in commercial transactions: without a warranty the buyer takes the risk as to the condition of the property or goods — compare products liability at liability sense 2b, warranty

History and Etymology for caveat emptor

New Latin, may the buyer beware

More from Merriam-Webster on caveat emptor

Nglish: Translation of caveat emptor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about caveat emptor

Comments on caveat emptor

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