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From Middle English byen, biggen, buggen, from Old English bycġan (to buy, pay for, acquire, redeem, ransom, procure, get done, sell), from Proto-Germanic *bugjaną (to buy), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *bʰūgʰ- (to bend), or from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeugʰ- (to take away, deliver). Cognate with Scots by (to buy, purchase), obsolete Dutch beugen (to buy), Old Saxon buggian, buggean (to buy), Old Norse byggja (to procure a wife, lend at interest, let out), Gothic 𐌱𐌿𐌲𐌾𐌰𐌽 (bugjan, to buy). The spelling with “u” is from the Southwest, while the pronunciation with /aɪ/ is from the East Midlands.



buy (third-person singular simple present buys, present participle buying, simple past bought, past participle bought or (rare, dialectal) boughten)

  1. (transitive) To obtain (something) in exchange for money or goods
    I'm going to buy my father something nice for his birthday.
    • Benjamin Franklin
      Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou wilt sell thy necessaries.
  2. (transitive) To obtain by some sacrifice.
    I've bought material comfort by foregoing my dreams.
    • Bible, Proverbs xxiii. 23
      Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
  3. (transitive) To bribe.
    He tried to buy me with gifts, but I wouldn't give up my beliefs.
  4. (transitive) To be equivalent to in value.
    The dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to.
  5. (transitive, informal) to accept as true; to believe
    I'm not going to buy your stupid excuses anymore!
  6. (intransitive) To make a purchase or purchases, to treat (for a meal)
    She buys for Federated.
    Let's go out for dinner. I'm buying.
  7. (poker slang, transitive) To make a bluff, usually a large one.
    Smith tried to buy the pot on the river with a huge bluff

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


buy (plural buys)

  1. Something which is bought; a purchase.
    At only $30, the second-hand kitchen table was a great buy.


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  1. length