tr.v. pur·chased, pur·chas·ing, pur·chas·es
1. To obtain in exchange for money or its equivalent; buy.
2. To acquire by effort; earn: purchased the victory with the loss of many lives.
3. To pull or haul by means of a mechanical device, such as a winch.
a. The act or an instance of buying: the sudden purchase of a car.
b. Something bought: That hat was a wise purchase.
a. A hold or position that allows the application of power, as in moving something: got a purchase for her foot and climbed up.
b. A device, such as a pulley, used to obtain mechanical advantage.
c. A means or advantage that allows the increase of power or influence.
[Middle English purchasen, to pursue, purchase, from Old French purchacier : pur-, forth (from Latin prō-; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + chacier, to chase; see CHASE1.]
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.