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buy (bī)
Share:
v. bought (bôt), buy·ing, buys
v.tr.
1. To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase. See Note at boughten.
2. To be capable of purchasing: "Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won't buy" (Ogden Nash).
3. To acquire by sacrifice, exchange, or trade: wanted to buy love with gifts.
4. To bribe: tried to buy a judge.
5. Informal To accept the truth or feasibility of: The officer didn't buy my lame excuse for speeding.
v.intr.
To purchase something; act as a purchaser.
n.
1. Something bought or for sale; a purchase.
2. An act of purchasing: a drug buy.
3. Something that is underpriced; a bargain.
Phrasal Verbs:
buy down
To pay an upfront fee to reduce (an interest rate) over part or all of the term of a loan.
buy into
1. To acquire a stake or interest in: bought into a risky real estate venture.
2. Informal To believe in, especially wholeheartedly or uncritically: couldn't buy into that brand of conservatism.
buy off
To bribe (an official, for example) in order to secure improper cooperation or gain exemption from a regulation or legal consequence.
buy out
To purchase the entire stock, business rights, or interests of.
buy up
To purchase all that is available of.
Idioms:
buy it Slang
To be killed.
buy the farm Slang
To die, especially suddenly or violently.
buy time
To increase the time available for a specific purpose: "A moderate recovery thus buys time for Congress and the Administration to whittle the deficit" (G. David Wallace).

[Middle English bien, beyen, from Old English bycgan, byg-; akin to Gothic bugjan, from Germanic *bugjanan, of unknown origin.]

buya·ble adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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