verb (used with object), bought, buy·ing.
- to acquire the possession of, or the right to, by paying or promising to pay an equivalent, especially in money; purchase.
- to acquire by exchange or concession: to buy favor with flattery.
- to hire or obtain the services of: The Yankees bought a new center fielder.
- to bribe: Most public officials cannot be bought.
- to be the monetary or purchasing equivalent of: Ten dollars buys less than it used to.
- Chiefly Theology. to redeem; ransom.
- Cards. to draw or be dealt (a card): He bought an ace.
- 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.
- to be or become a purchaser.
- an act or instance of buying.
- something bought or to be bought; purchase: That coat was a sensible buy.
- a bargain: The couch was a real buy.
- buy down, to lower or reduce (the mortgage interest rate) by means of a buy-down.
- buy in,
- to buy a supply of; accumulate a stock of.
- to buy back one’s own possession at an auction.
- to undertake a buy-in.
Also buy into.
- buy into, to purchase a share, interest, or membership in: They tried to buy into the club but were not accepted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- buy it, Slang. to get killed: He bought it at Dunkirk.
verb buys, buying or bought (mainly tr)
- to acquire by paying or promising to pay a sum of money or the equivalent; purchase
- to be capable of purchasingmoney can’t buy love
- to acquire by any exchange or sacrificeto buy time by equivocation
- (intr) to act as a buyer
- to bribe or corrupt; hire by or as by bribery
- slang to accept as true, practical, etc
- (intr foll by into) to purchase shares of (a company)we bought into General Motors
- (tr) theol (esp of Christ) to ransom or redeem (a Christian or the soul of a Christian)
- have bought it slang to be killed
- a purchase (often in the phrases good or bad buy)
v.Old English bycgan (past tense bohte) “to buy, pay for, acquire; redeem, ransom; procure; get done,” from Proto-Germanic *bugjanan (cf. Old Saxon buggjan, Old Norse byggja, Gothic bugjan), of unknown origin, not found outside Germanic. The surviving spelling is southwest England dialect; the word was generally pronounced in Old English and Middle English with a -dg- sound as “budge,” or “bidge.” Meaning “believe, accept as true” first recorded 1926. Related: Bought; buying. To buy time “prevent further deterioration but make no improvement” is attested from 1946. n.“a purchase,” especially a worthwhile one, 1879, American English, from buy (v.).