caveat emptor

[ kav-ee-aht emp-tawr, -at, kah-vee-, key-; Latin kah-we-aht emp-tohr ]
/ ˈkæv iˌɑt ˈɛmp tɔr, -ˌæt, ˈkɑ vi-, keɪ-; Latin ˈkɑ wɛˌɑt ˈɛmp toʊr /

noun

let the buyer beware: the principle that the seller of a product cannot be held responsible for its quality unless it is guaranteed in a warranty.

Nearby words

  1. cave in,
  2. cave man,
  3. cave tubing,
  4. cave-in,
  5. caveat,
  6. caveator,
  7. cavefish,
  8. cavel,
  9. cavell,
  10. cavell, edith

Origin of caveat emptor

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1515–25

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for caveat emptor

caveat emptor

/ (ˈɛmptɔː) /

noun

the principle that the buyer must bear the risk for the quality of goods purchased unless they are covered by the seller's warranty

Word Origin for caveat emptor

Latin: let the buyer beware

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

Word Origin and History for caveat emptor

caveat emptor

Latin, literally "let the buyer beware;" see caveat and second element of exempt (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for caveat emptor

Caveat emptor

[ (kav-ee-aht, kah-vee-aht emp-tawr) ]

Latin for “Let the buyer beware.” It means that a customer should be cautious and alert to the possibility of being cheated: “Caveat emptor is the first rule of buying a used car.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.