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This page has 16 definitions of purchase in English. Purchase is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use purchase in a sentence are shown. Also define these 40 related words and terms: title, price, seek, obtain, property, house, estate, rent, income, mechanical, hold, advantage, lever, tackle, capstan, contact, grip, apparatus, device, foothold, ledge, support, law, tenements, descent, inheritance, buy, payment, pursue, acquire, seeking, gain, labor, danger, sacrifice, expiate, fine, forfeit, strive, and buying power.

See also: Purchase



From Middle English purchasen, from Anglo-Norman purchacer (seek to obtain) from pur- (from Latin pro-) + chac(i)er (to chase, pursue). Compare Old French porchacier (to follow, to chase), which has given French pourchasser (to chase without relent).



purchase (countable and uncountable, plural purchases)

  1. The acquisition of title to, or property in, anything for a price; buying for money or its equivalent.
    They offer a free hamburger with the purchase of a drink.
  2. That which is obtained, got or acquired, in any manner, honestly or dishonestly; property; possession; acquisition.
  3. That which is obtained for a price in money or its equivalent.
    He was pleased with his latest purchase.
  4. (obsolete) The act or process of seeking and obtaining something (e.g. property, etc.)
  5. A price paid for a house or estate, etc. equal to the amount of the rent or income during the stated number of years.
    • 1848, The Sessional Papers printed by order of the House of Lords
      Suppose a freehold house to be worth 20 years' purchase []
    • Estate definition
      The collective property and liabilities of someone, especially a deceased person. (1 of 12 estate definitions)
  6. (uncountable, also figurative) Any mechanical hold or advantage, applied to the raising or removing of heavy bodies, as by a lever, a tackle or capstan.
    Synonyms: contact, grip, hold
    • 2009, Mark Fisher, chapter 8, in Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, Zero Books, →ISBN, pages 66-67:
      The problem is that the model of individual responsibility assumed by most versions of ethics have little purchase on the behavior of Capital or corporations.
    It is hard to get purchase on a nail without a pry bar or hammer.
    • Tackle definition
      A device for grasping an object and an attached means of moving it, as a rope and hook. (1 of 10 tackle definitions)
  7. The apparatus, tackle or device by which such mechanical advantage is gained and in nautical terminology the ratio of such a device, like a pulley, or block and tackle.
    • Device definition
      Any piece of equipment made for a particular purpose, especially a mechanical or electrical one. (1 of 11 device definitions)
  8. (rock climbing, uncountable) The amount of hold one has from an individual foothold or ledge.
    Synonyms: foothold, support
    • 2015, Hao Jingfang, “Folding Beijing”, in Ken Liu, transl., Uncanny Magazine[1], number 2:
      At first, he was climbing down, testing for purchase with his feet. But soon, as the entire section of ground rotated, he was lifted into the air, and up and down flipped around.
    • Ledge definition
      A shelf on which articles may be laid; also, that which resembles such a shelf in form or use, as a projecting ridge or part, or a molding or edge in joinery. (1 of 7 ledge definitions)
  9. (law, dated) Acquisition of lands or tenements by means other than descent or inheritance, namely, by one's own act or agreement.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Blackstone to this entry?)

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


purchase (third-person singular simple present purchases, present participle purchasing, simple past and past participle purchased)

  1. To buy, obtain by payment of a price in money or its equivalent.
    to purchase land, to purchase a house
  2. To pursue and obtain; to acquire by seeking; to gain, obtain, or acquire.
    • Seeking definition
      The act of one who seeks; a search or quest to find something.
  3. To obtain by any outlay, as of labor, danger, or sacrifice, etc.
    to purchase favor with flattery
  4. To expiate by a fine or forfeit.
    • Fine definition
      Senses referring to subjective quality.
      1. Of superior quality. (1 of 17 fine definitions)
  5. To apply to (anything) a device for obtaining a mechanical advantage; to get a purchase upon, or apply a purchase to; to raise or move by mechanical means.
    to purchase a cannon
  6. To put forth effort to obtain anything; to strive; to exert oneself.
    • (Can we date this quote by Ld. Berners and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Duke John of Brabant purchased greatly that the Earl of Flanders should have his daughter in marriage.
  7. To constitute the buying power for a purchase, have a trading value.
    Many aristocratic refugees' portable treasures purchased their safe passage and comfortable exile during the revolution


Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.