buy - definition and synonyms


Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio

present tense
present participlebuying
past tensebought
past participlebought
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to get something by paying money for it

    I need to buy some new clothes.

    Now you can buy and sell shares on the Internet.

    Tickets can be bought at the door.

    A lot of people just come into the shop without buying.

    buy something from someone/something:

    I bought a ball from the toy shop.

    buy something off someone:

    I said I’d buy his bike off him.

    buy someone something:

    He’s always buying me presents.

    buy something for someone:

    Ed’s parents bought that new computer for him.

    buy something for £50/£60 etc:

    They offered to buy the car for £1,000.

    buy (something) in bulk:

    This dog food is cheaper when you buy it in bulk.

    buy something (by) mail order:

    We buy all our software by mail order.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] if an amount of money buys something, it is large enough to pay for that thing

      £5 million would buy you a nice house in central London.

      the best education money can buy

  2. 2



    buy off

    [transitive] [usually passive] informal to give someone something so that they will do something dishonest for you

    It’s nice to know that some people can’t be bought.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to get something that you want or need, usually by losing something else that is important
    buy something with something:

    attempts to buy peace with land

    buy something at the expense/cost of something:

    Increased profits would be bought at the expense of paying less attention to quality.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to do something in order to get more time to do or finish something else

    That should buy us another week.

    buy time:

    These negotiations are all part of a plan to buy time to win more support.

  5. 5
    [transitive] spoken to believe or accept something, especially something that is unlikely to be true or reasonable

    ‘It’s her birthday, but I told her I had to work late.’ ‘She’ll never buy that!’