- The definition of buy means to purchase or to get by exchange.
An example of to buy is giving a cashier twenty dollars for two movie tickets.
This woman is going to buy train tickets.
transitive verbbought, buying
- to get by paying or agreeing to pay money or some equivalent; purchase
- to get as by an exchange: buy victory with human lives
- to be the means of purchasing: all that money can buy
- to bribe or hire as by bribing
- ☆ Slang to accept as true, valid, practical, etc.: I can't buy this excuse
- Theol., Archaic to redeem
Origin of buyMiddle English bien ; from Old English bycgan ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base of bow
- to buy something
- to buy merchandise as a buyer
- the act of buying; a purchase
- anything bought or buyable, esp. with reference to its worth as a bargain: a good (or bad) buy
- ☆ Informal something worth the price; bargain
- to buy a share of or shares in
- to buy back (an item) at an auction by a final, high bid when the other bids are much too low: said as of the orig. owner
- Slang to pay money so as to become a participant, member, etc.
- buy in (senses & ) (see phrase above)
- ☆ Slang buy ()
verbbought bought , buy·ing, buys
- To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase. See Note at boughten.
- To be capable of purchasing: “Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won't buy” (Ogden Nash).
- To acquire by sacrifice, exchange, or trade: wanted to buy love with gifts.
- To bribe: tried to buy a judge.
- Informal To accept the truth or feasibility of: The officer didn't buy my lame excuse for speeding.
- Something bought or for sale; a purchase.
- An act of purchasing: a drug buy.
- Something that is underpriced; a bargain.
Origin of buyMiddle English, from Old English bycgan.
(third-person singular simple present buys, present participle buying, simple past bought, past participle bought or (rare, dialectal) boughten)
- To obtain (something) in exchange for money or goods
- I'm going to buy my father something nice for his birthday.
- To obtain by some sacrifice.
- I've bought material comfort by foregoing my dreams.
- To bribe.
- He tried to buy me with gifts, but I wouldn't give up my beliefs.
- To be equivalent to in value.
- The dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to.'
- (informal) to accept as true; to believe
- I'm not going to buy your stupid excuses anymore!
- (intransitive) To make a purchase or purchases, to treat (for a meal)
- She buys for Federated.
- Let's go out for dinner. I'm buying.
- (poker slang) To make a bluff, usually a large one.
- Smith tried to buy the pot on the river with a huge bluff
- Something which is bought; a purchase.
- At only $30, the second-hand kitchen table was a great buy.
From Middle English byen, biggen, buggen, from Old English bycġan (“to buy, pay for, acquire, redeem, ransom, procure, get done, sell”), from Proto-Germanic *bugjaną (“to buy”), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *bhūgh- (“to bend”), or from Proto-Indo-European *bheugh- (“to take away, deliver”). Cognate with Scots by (“to buy, purchase”), Old Saxon buggian, buggean (“to buy”), Old Norse byggja (“to procure a wife, lend at interest, let out”), Gothic (bugjan, “to buy”).