views updated May 18 2018

buy / / • v. (buys, buy·ing; past and past part. bought / bôt/ ) [tr.] 1. obtain in exchange for payment: he had been able to buy up hundreds of acres [intr.] had no interest in buying into an entertainment company. ∎  (buy someone out) pay someone to give up an ownership, interest, or share. ∎  procure the loyalty and support of (someone) by bribery: here was a man who could not be bought. ∎  be a means of obtaining (something) through exchange or payment: money can't buy happiness. ∎  (often be bought) get by sacrifice or great effort: greatness is dearly bought. ∎  [intr.] make a profession of purchasing goods for a store or firm.2. inf. accept the truth of: I am not prepared to buy the claim that the ends justify the means [intr.] I hate to buy into stereotypes. 3. (bought it) inf. died: his friends had bought it in the jungle.• n. inf. a purchase: the wine is a good buy at $3.49. ∎  an act of purchasing something: out on a produce buy for the restaurant.PHRASES: buy time delay an event temporarily so as to have longer to improve one's own position.


views updated May 21 2018

buy buy in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest traditional commercial advice on making the largest profit possible (sometimes with an implication of sharp practice), recorded from the late 16th century.
you buy land, you buy stones; you buy meat, you buy bones every purchase has its drawbacks. Recorded from the late 17th century, but a late 16th-century source has the related, ‘You shall be sure to have good ale, for that has no bones.’

See also buy the farm.


views updated May 29 2018

buy pt., pp. bought OE. byċġan = OS. buggian, ON. byggja, Goth. bugjan; Gmc. wk. vb. of unkn. orig.