From Middle English byen, from Old English bycġan (“to buy, pay for, acquire, redeem, ransom, procure, get done, sell”), from Proto-West Germanic *buggjan, 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.
- (transitive, ditransitive) To obtain (something) in exchange for money or goods
- I'm going to buy my father something nice for his birthday.
- (transitive, ditransitive) To obtain, especially by some sacrifice.
- I've bought material comfort by foregoing my dreams.
- You just bought yourself an assault charge!
- (transitive, archaic) To suffer consequences for (something) through being deprived of something; to pay for (something one has done).
- (transitive) To bribe.
- He tried to buy me with gifts, but I wouldn't give up my beliefs.
- (transitive) To be equivalent to in value.
- The dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to.
- (transitive, informal) to accept as true; to believe
- 2020, Akwaeke Emezi, The Death of Vivek Oji, Faber & Faber Ltd, page 201:
- People like to say that dead people look asleep, and maybe she would have bought that under different circumstances.
- I'm not going to buy your stupid excuses anymore!
- (intransitive) To make a purchase or purchases, to treat (for a drink, meal or gift)
- She buys for Federated.
- Let's go out for dinner. I'm buying.
- (poker slang, transitive) To make a bluff, usually a large one.
- Smith tried to buy the pot on the river with a huge bluff
- buie (archaic)
- (obtain in exchange for money): cheap (obsolete), purchase
- (accept as true): accept, believe, swallow (informal), take on
- ((intransitive) make a purchase): make a buy
- (obtain in exchange for money): cheap (obsolete), sell, vend
- (accept as true): disbelieve, reject, pitch
- 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)
- Something which is bought; a purchase.
- At only $30, the second-hand kitchen table was a great buy.
- buy in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
- buy in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
Related to guy (“baobab tree”).
buy (definite form buy bi)