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Etymology 1Edit

See buy



  1. simple past tense and past participle of buy.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%.
    She bought an expensive bag last week.
    People have bought gas masks.
    Our products can be bought at your local store.
Usage notesEdit

It is common to hear native English speakers (particularly in Australia, New Zealand and Britain) using "bought" when meaning "brought" (and vice versa) despite the fact that the two words mean different things [2][3]. Sometimes this mistake makes its way into print[4].

Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English bought, bowght, bouȝt, *buȝt, probably an alteration of Middle English bight, biȝt, byȝt (bend, bight) after Middle English bowen, buwen, buȝen (to bow, bend). Cognate with Scots boucht, bucht, bout (bend). More at bight.

Alternative formsEdit


bought (plural boughts)

  1. (obsolete) A bend; flexure; curve; a hollow angle.
  2. (obsolete) A bend or hollow in a human or animal body.
  3. (obsolete) A curve or bend in a river, mountain chain, or other geographical feature.
    • 1612, John Smith, Map of Virginia, in Kupperman 1988, p. 159:
      the river it selfe turneth North east and is stil a navigable streame. On the westerne side of this bought is Tauxenent with 40 men.
  4. (obsolete) The part of a sling that contains the stone.
  5. (obsolete) A fold, bend, or coil in a tail, snake's body etc.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.i:
      Her huge long taile her den all ouerspred, / Yet was in knots and many boughtes vpwound, / Pointed with mortall sting.