Also called public sale. a publicly held sale at which property or goods are sold to the highest bidder.

(in bridge or certain other games) the competitive bidding to fix a contract that a player or players undertake to fulfill.

to sell by auction (often followed by off):
He auctioned off his furniture.
Contemporary Examples

The hype had been deafening on the work; the auction sales pitch even compared it to the “Mona Lisa.”
Who Won the Bidding Match Over Munch’s ‘The Scream’? Alexandra Peers May 2, 2012

Meanwhile, the merchants in Diablo III seem to have been designed to steer you to the auction house.
Diablo 3 Director Regrets Building an In-Game Market Megan McArdle March 28, 2013

“I’m asking each of you to step up to the plate and go big,” DiCaprio told the crowd before the auction.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Big Christie’s Auction Brings in $38.8 Million Isabel Wilkinson May 13, 2013

In fact, you can buy one of your own—thanks to the Nate D. Sanders auction house in Los Angeles.
Bid on CIA’s Osama Action Figure, Lewinsky’s Lingerie, and More at This L.A. Auction House Asawin Suebsaeng November 10, 2014

And in August, the same eBay account put the domain up for auction, for $21,000,000.
He Bullies Kids and Calls It News Brandy Zadrozny June 25, 2014

Historical Examples

The instant I bid thirty thousand rubles the auction came to an end.
A Family of Noblemen Mikhal Saltykov

Messenio announces an auction and invites the spectators to attend.
The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke

That community possessed a wide extent of rocky and barren pastures, leased annually by auction for the public good.
Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino, Volume I (of 3) James Dennistoun

There had been an auction of the effects of a settler, who was moving off to the South Island.
Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay

But not only for the debt of passage-money, but for other debts, a white man was put up to auction, and sold to the best bidder.
Diary in America, Series One Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

a public sale of goods or property, esp one in which prospective purchasers bid against each other until the highest price is reached Compare Dutch auction
the competitive calls made in bridge and other games before play begins, undertaking to win a given number of tricks if a certain suit is trumps
See auction bridge
(transitive) often foll by off. to sell by auction

“a sale by increase of bids,” 1590s, from Latin auctionem (nominative auctio) “an increasing sale, auction, public sale,” noun of action from past participle stem of augere “to increase,” from PIE root *aug- “to increase” (see augment). In northern England and Scotland, called a roup. In the U.S., something is sold at auction; in England, by auction.

1807, from auction (n.). Related: Auctioned; auctioning.


Read Also:

  • Auction block

    Also called block. a platform from which an auctioneer sells: the old courthouse where slaves were sold from the auction block. put on the auction block, to offer for sale at auction; offer to sell to the highest bidder. Also, put on the block. Contemporary Examples Along the Prado they used to sell slaves on […]

  • Auction bridge

    a variety of bridge in which odd tricks won in excess of the number named in the contract are scored toward game. Compare (def 5). Historical Examples auction bridge was her dissipation and I have heard she played a masterly game. Vacation with the Tucker Twins Nell Speed In auction bridge slight intimations convey much […]

  • Auction pinochle

    a variety of pinochle for three to five players in which, for every hand, there are three active players, each dealt 15 cards, with the highest bidder winning the contract and playing against the other two active opponents. pinochle in which players bid to name trump. Historical Examples But when a feller fools away his […]

  • Auction pitch

    a variety of all fours in which players bid to determine the trump or pitch.

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