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

  • transitive v. To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase. See Regional Note at boughten.
  • transitive v. To be capable of purchasing: "Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won't buy” ( Ogden Nash).
  • transitive v. To acquire by sacrifice, exchange, or trade: wanted to buy love with gifts.
  • transitive v. To bribe: tried to buy a judge.
  • transitive v. Informal To accept the truth or feasibility of: The officer didn't buy my lame excuse for speeding.
  • intransitive v. To purchase something; act as a purchaser.
  • n. Something bought or for sale; a purchase.
  • n. An act of purchasing: a drug buy.
  • n. Something that is underpriced; a bargain.
  • buy into To acquire a stake or interest in: bought into a risky real estate venture.
  • buy into Informal To believe in, especially wholeheartedly or uncritically: couldn't buy into that brand of conservatism.
  • buy off To bribe (an official, for example) in order to secure improper cooperation or gain exemption from a regulation or legal consequence.
  • buy out To purchase the entire stock, business rights, or interests of.
  • buy up To purchase all that is available of.
  • idiom buy it Slang To be killed.
  • idiom buy time To increase the time available for a specific purpose: "A moderate recovery thus buys time for Congress and the Administration to whittle the deficit” ( G. David Wallace).
  • idiom buy the farm Slang To die, especially suddenly or violently.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To negotiate or treat about a purchase.
  • transitive v. 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 v. To acquire or procure by something given or done in exchange, literally or figuratively; to get, at a cost or sacrifice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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


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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