1. command; summons; invitation: I went there at his bidding.
  2. bids collectively, or a period during which bids are made or received: The bidding began furiously.
  3. a bid.

  1. do someone’s bidding, to submit to someone’s orders; perform services for someone: After he was promoted to vice president at the bank, he expected everyone around him to do his bidding.

verb (used with object), bade or (Archaic) bad for 1, 2, 5 or bid for 3, 4; bid·den or bid for 1, 2, 5 or bid for 3, 4; bid·ding.

  1. to command; order; direct: to bid them depart.
  2. to express (a greeting, farewell, benediction, or wish): to bid good night.
  3. Commerce. to offer (a certain sum) as the price one will pay or charge: They bid $25,000 and got the contract.
  4. Cards. to enter a bid of (a given quantity or suit): to bid two no-trump.
  5. to summon by invitation; invite.

verb (used without object), bade or (Archaic) bad for 6 or bid for 7; bid·den or bid for 6 or bid for 7; bid·ding.

  1. to command; order; direct: I will do as you bid.
  2. to make a bid: She bid at the auction for the old chair.


  1. an act or instance of bidding.
  2. Cards.
    1. an offer to make a specified number of points or to take a specified number of tricks.
    2. the amount of such an offer.
    3. the turn of a person to bid.
  3. an invitation: a bid to join the club.
  4. an attempt to attain some goal or purpose: a bid for election.
  5. Also called bid price. Stock Exchange. the highest price a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a security at a given moment.

Verb Phrases past and past participle bid, present participle bid·ding.

  1. bid in, Commerce. to overbid all offers for (property) at an auction in order to retain ownership.
  2. bid up, Commerce. to increase the market price of by increasing bids.
Idioms past bade or (Archaic) bad, past participle bid·den or bid, present participle bid·ding.

  1. bid fair. fair1(def 29).

verb Archaic.

  1. past participle of bide.


  1. an order; command (often in the phrases do or follow the bidding of, at someone’s bidding)
  2. an invitation; summons
  3. the act of making bids, as at an auction or in bridge
  4. bridge a group of bids considered collectively, esp those made on a particular deal

verb bids, bidding, bad, bade, esp for senses 1, 2, 5, 7 bid, bidden or esp for senses 1, 2, 5, 7 bid

  1. (often foll by for or against) to offer (an amount) in attempting to buy something, esp in competition with others as at an auction
  2. commerce to respond to an offer by a seller by stating (the more favourable terms) on which one is willing to make a purchase
  3. (tr) to say (a greeting, blessing, etc)to bid farewell
  4. to order; commanddo as you are bid!
  5. (intr usually foll by for) to attempt to attain power, etc
  6. (tr) to invite; ask kindlyshe bade him sit down
  7. bridge to declare in the auction before play how many tricks one expects to make
  8. bid defiance to resist boldly
  9. bid fair to seem probable


    1. an offer of a specified amount, as at an auction
    2. the price offered
  1. commerce
    1. a statement by a buyer, in response to an offer by a seller, of the more favourable terms that would be acceptable
    2. the price or other terms so stated
  2. an attempt, esp an attempt to attain power
  3. bridge
    1. the number of tricks a player undertakes to make
    2. a player’s turn to make a bid
  4. short for bid price

probably a merger of two old words: The sense in bid farewell is from Old English biddan “to ask, entreat, pray, beseech; order; beg” (class V strong verb, past tense bæd, past participle beden), from Proto-Germanic *bidjan “to pray, entreat” (cf. German bitten “to ask,” attested from 8c.), which, according to Kluge and Watkins is from a PIE root *gwhedh- “to ask, pray” (see bead (n.)).

To bid at an auction, meanwhile, is from Old English beodan “offer, proclaim” (class II strong verb; past tense bead, p.p. boden), from Proto-Germanic *biudanan “to stretch out, reach out, offer, present,” (cf. German bieten “to offer”), from PIE root *bh(e)udh- “to be aware, make aware” (cf. Sanskrit bodhati “is awake, is watchful, observes,” buddhah “awakened, enlightened;” Old Church Slavonic bljudo “to observe;” Lithuanian budeti “to be awake;” Old Irish buide “contentment, thanks”). As a noun, 1788, from the verb.

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