v. bought (bôt), buy·ing, buys
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.
To purchase something; act as a purchaser.
1. Something bought or for sale; a purchase.
2. An act of purchasing: a drug buy.
3. Something that is underpriced; a bargain.
To pay an upfront fee to reduce (an interest rate) over part or all of the term of a loan.
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.
To bribe (an official, for example) in order to secure improper cooperation or gain exemption from a regulation or legal consequence.
To purchase the entire stock, business rights, or interests of.
To purchase all that is available of.
buy it Slang
To be killed.
buy the farm Slang
To die, especially suddenly or violently.
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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.