to acquire the possession of, or the right to, by paying or promising to pay an equivalent, especially in money; purchase.
to acquire by exchange or concession:
to buy favor with flattery.
to hire or obtain the services of:
The Yankees bought a new center fielder.
to bribe:
Most public officials cannot be bought.
to be the monetary or purchasing equivalent of:
Ten dollars buys less than it used to.
Chiefly Theology. to redeem; ransom.
Cards. to draw or be dealt (a card):
He bought an ace.

to accept or believe:
I don’t buy that explanation.
to be deceived by:
He bought the whole story.

to be or become a purchaser.
an act or instance of buying.
something bought or to be bought; purchase:
That coat was a sensible buy.
a bargain:
The couch was a real buy.
buy down, to lower or reduce (the mortgage interest rate) by means of a buy-down.
buy in,

to buy a supply of; accumulate a stock of.
to buy back one’s own possession at an auction.
to undertake a buy-in.

Also, buy into.
buy into, to purchase a share, interest, or membership in:
They tried to buy into the club but were not accepted.
buy off, to get rid of (a claim, opposition, etc.) by payment; purchase the noninterference of; bribe:
The corrupt official bought off those who might expose him.
buy out, to secure all of (an owner or partner’s) share or interest in an enterprise:
She bought out an established pharmacist and is doing very well.
buy up, to buy as much as one can of something or as much as is offered for sale:
He bought up the last of the strawberries at the fruit market.
buy it, Slang. to get killed:
He bought it at Dunkirk.
Contemporary Examples

Doug Kenney: The Odd Comic Genius Behind ‘Animal House’ and National Lampoon Robert Sam Anson February 28, 2014

verb (mainly transitive) buys, buying, bought
to acquire by paying or promising to pay a sum of money or the equivalent; purchase
to be capable of purchasing: money can’t buy love
to acquire by any exchange or sacrifice: to buy time by equivocation
(intransitive) to act as a buyer
to bribe or corrupt; hire by or as by bribery
(slang) to accept as true, practical, etc
(intransitive) foll by into. to purchase shares of (a company): we bought into General Motors
(transitive) (theol) (esp of Christ) to ransom or redeem (a Christian or the soul of a Christian)
(slang) have bought it, to be killed
a purchase (often in the phrases good or bad buy)

To believe; accept as true: These guys bought the myth and now it’s costing them dearly/ I buy it. What you told me is between us
To agree to; acquiesce in: If that’s the plan, I’ll buy it (1920s+)
To do; effectuate: She pointed her gun at me. I said, ”What are you trying to buy with that?” (1940s+)
To hire; engage: He bought him a lawyer and filed suit (1650s+)
(also buy off) To induce by money; bribe: He tried to buy a couple of jury members (1650s+)


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  • Buy-the-big-one

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  • Buy-to-let

    noun (modifier) of or relating to the practice of buying a property to let to tenants rather than to live in onself: the buy-to-let boom

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