Buy, by or bye

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Buy, bye and by are homophones. These words are all pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. We’ll look at the difference in meaning between buy, bye, and by, where these words are derived from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Buy means to acquire something in exchange for payment. Buy is also used figuratively to mean to acquire someone’s favor or loyalty by means of bribery, or to acquire something through extreme effort or sacrifice. Buy is one of the Oxford English Dictionary’s one thousand most frequently used words in the English language, it is used as a noun or a verb. Related words are buys, bought, buying. The word buy is derived from the Old English word bycgan, which has a Germanic origin.

Bye is a term often used as an abbreviation of the word goodbye. A bye is also a round in a competition in which a team or player does not play a game or have a competitor. When a team or player has a bye, that means they may proceed to the next round of competition without opposition. The use of bye to mean goodbye dates back to the early 1700s, its use as a sporting term dates back to lawn-tennis in the 1880s.

By is a preposition. By is used after a passive verb in order to signify the person who performed an action. By may also be used when identifying the author of a creative project. By also means via, beside, near, past, no later than, extent, aside, multiplied by, between measurements, and many other meanings. Considering the vast ways in which the word by may be used, it should be obvious by now that by is one of the one thousand most frequently used words in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. By is derived from the Old English words bī, bi, be.


Ikeguchi, who has strong ties with North Korea through Buddhist exchanges and has visited the hermit state multiple times, explained that his initial intentions to buy the building stemmed from fears of bilateral ties souring even further. (The Japan Times)

“I don’t buy it,” Kaine responded before switching into Spanish. (USA Today)

Jordan Roughead says the pre-finals bye was a massive help to the Western Bulldogs in inflicting a 47-point elimination final thrashing on West Coast at Domain Stadium last night. (The West Australian)

Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani, who was stopped from holding a press conference in Srinagar, on Friday praised the stand of Pakistan, China and Turkey on Kashmir and claimed a “hit list of civilians is being prepared by the rulers.” (The Hindu)