[ bahy ]
See synonyms for: buyboughtbuyingbuyable on

verb (used with object),bought, buy·ing.
  1. to acquire the possession of, or the right to, by paying or promising to pay an equivalent, especially in money; purchase.

  2. to acquire by exchange or concession: to buy favor with flattery.

  1. to hire or obtain the services of: The Yankees bought a new center fielder.

  2. to bribe: Most public officials cannot be bought.

  3. to be the monetary or purchasing equivalent of: Ten dollars buys less than it used to.

  4. Chiefly Theology. to redeem; ransom.

  5. Cards. to draw or be dealt (a card): He bought an ace.

  6. Informal.

    • to accept or believe: I don't buy that explanation.

    • to be deceived by: He bought the whole story.

verb (used without object),bought, buy·ing.
  1. to be or become a purchaser.

  1. an act or instance of buying.

  2. something bought or to be bought; purchase: That coat was a sensible buy.

  1. a bargain: The couch was a real buy.

Verb Phrases
  1. buy down, to lower or reduce (the mortgage interest rate) by means of a buy-down.

  2. buy in, : Also buy into.

    • to buy a supply of; accumulate a stock of.

    • to buy back one's own possession at an auction.

    • to undertake a buy-in.

  1. buy into, to purchase a share, interest, or membership in: They tried to buy into the club but were not accepted.

  2. buy off, to get rid of (a claim, opposition, etc.) by payment; purchase the noninterference of; bribe: The corrupt official bought off those who might expose him.

  3. buy out, to secure all of (an owner or partner's) share or interest in an enterprise: She bought out an established pharmacist and is doing very well.

  4. buy up, to buy as much as one can of something or as much as is offered for sale: He bought up the last of the strawberries at the fruit market.

Idioms about buy

  1. buy it, Slang. to get killed: He bought it at Dunkirk.

Origin of buy

First recorded before 1000; Middle English byen, variant of byggen, buggen, Old English bycgan; cognate with Old Saxon buggjan, Gothic bugjan “to buy,” Old Norse byggja “to lend, rent”

synonym study For buy

1. Buy, purchase imply obtaining or acquiring property or goods for a price. Buy is the common and informal word, applying to any such transaction: to buy a house, vegetables at the market. Purchase is more formal and may connote buying on a larger scale, in a finer store, and the like: to purchase a year's supplies.

Opposites for buy

Other words from buy

  • buy·a·ble, adjective
  • non·buy·ing, adjective, noun
  • pre·buy, verb (used with object), pre·bought, pre·buy·ing.
  • re·buy, verb, re·bought, re·buy·ing.
  • un·buy·a·ble, adjective
  • un·buy·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with buy

Words Nearby buy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use buy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for buy


/ (baɪ) /

verbbuys, buying or bought (mainly tr)
  1. to acquire by paying or promising to pay a sum of money or the equivalent; purchase

  2. to be capable of purchasing: money can't buy love

  1. to acquire by any exchange or sacrifice: to buy time by equivocation

  2. (intr) to act as a buyer

  3. to bribe or corrupt; hire by or as by bribery

  4. slang to accept as true, practical, etc

  5. (intr foll by into) to purchase shares of (a company): we bought into General Motors

  6. (tr) theol (esp of Christ) to ransom or redeem (a Christian or the soul of a Christian)

  7. have bought it slang to be killed

  1. a purchase (often in the phrases good or bad buy)

Origin of buy

Old English bycgan; related to Old Norse byggja to let out, lend, Gothic bugjan to buy

usage For buy

The use of off after buy as in I bought this off my neighbour was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable in informal contexts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012