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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

There’s Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre Megan McArdle December 16, 2012
Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange Marlow Stern December 26, 2014
How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay Kathleen Kingsbury October 24, 2009
LinkedIn’s Big Ripoff Gary Rivlin May 16, 2011
Why Your New Year’s Diet Will Fail Carrie Arnold December 29, 2014

Historical Examples

The Room with the Tassels Carolyn Wells
Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
Life and Gabriella Ellen Glasgow
The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
The Story of the Great War, Volume VI (of VIII) Various

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+)


Read Also:

  • Buying-power

    purchasing power (def 1). Also called buying power. the ability to purchase goods and services. the value of money in terms of what it can buy at a specified time compared to what it could buy at some period established as a base: the purchasing power of the dollar.

  • Buyoff

    an act or instance of buying off; payment or bribe: The increased retirement benefit was a buyoff for employees who wanted salary increases.

  • Buyout

    an act or instance of buying out, especially of buying all or a controlling percentage of the shares in a company. Contemporary Examples Microsoft Buys Skype: Marc Andreessen on the Sale Dan Lyons May 9, 2011 The Paris Hilton of Tech Dan Lyons October 24, 2011 Funny Pages: How the National Lampoon Made American Humor […]

  • Buys-ballot-law

    the law stating that if one stands with one’s back to the wind, in the Northern Hemisphere the atmospheric pressure will be lower on one’s left and in the Southern Hemisphere it will be lower on one’s right: descriptive of the relationship of horizontal winds to atmospheric pressure.

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