Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase.
  • intransitive verb To be capable of purchasing.
  • intransitive verb To acquire by sacrifice, exchange, or trade.
  • intransitive verb To bribe.
  • intransitive verb Informal To accept the truth or feasibility of.
  • intransitive verb To purchase something; act as a purchaser.
  • noun Something bought or for sale; a purchase.
  • noun An act of purchasing.
  • noun Something that is underpriced; a bargain.
  • idiom (buy it) To be killed.
  • idiom (buy the farm) To die, especially suddenly or violently.
  • idiom (buy time) To increase the time available for a specific purpose.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To acquire the possession of, or the right or title to, by paying a consideration or an equivalent, usually in money; obtain by paying a price to the seller; purchase: opposed to sell.
  • Hence To get, acquire, or procure for any kind of equivalent: as, to buy favor with flattery.
  • To bribe; corrupt or pervert by giving a consideration; gain over by money, etc.
  • To be sufficient to purchase or procure; serve as an equivalent in procuring: as, gold cannot buy health.
  • To aby; suffer.
  • To buy for the owner at a public sale, especially when an insufficient price is offered.
  • To purchase all the share or shares of (a person) in a stock, fund, or partnership, or all his interest in a business: as, A buys out B.
  • To be or become a purchaser.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To negotiate or treat about a purchase.
  • transitive verb To acquire the ownership of (property) by giving an accepted price or consideration therefor, or by agreeing to do so; to acquire by the payment of a price or value; to purchase; -- opposed to sell.
  • transitive verb To acquire or procure by something given or done in exchange, literally or figuratively; to get, at a cost or sacrifice.
  • transitive verb [Obs.] See Againbuy.
  • transitive verb To detach by a consideration given; as, to buy off one from a party.
  • transitive verb To purchase the entire stock in trade and the good will of a business.
  • transitive verb to purchase stock in any fund or partnership.
  • transitive verb to purchase, on a promise, in fact or in law, to make payment at a future day.
  • transitive verb to give a consideration for the right of purchasing, at a fixed price, at a future time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To obtain (something) in exchange for money or goods
  • verb transitive To obtain by some sacrifice.
  • verb transitive To bribe.
  • verb transitive To be equivalent to in value.
  • verb transitive, informal to accept as true; to believe
  • verb intransitive To make a purchase or purchases, to treat (for a meal)
  • verb poker slang, transitive To make a bluff, usually a large one.
  • noun Something which is bought; a purchase.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence
  • verb acquire by trade or sacrifice or exchange
  • verb obtain by purchase; acquire by means of a financial transaction
  • verb accept as true
  • noun an advantageous purchase
  • verb be worth or be capable of buying

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English bycgan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English byen, biggen, buggen, from Old English bycġan ("to buy, pay for, acquire, redeem, ransom, procure, get done, sell"), from Proto-Germanic *bugjanan (“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 𐌱𐌿𐌲𐌾𐌰𐌽 (bugjan, "to buy").

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