Caveat emptor

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Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that is still invoked to this day. It is a loan phrase. We will examine the definition of the term caveat emptor, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Caveat emptor literally translates as “let the buyer beware”. The phrase expresses the idea that it is up to the buyer to discover the defects in an item he is buying. Caveat emptor is especially true when purchasing a previously used item, as even the seller may not be aware of all the flaws that the item has. This does not mean that the seller may lie or attempt to hide the flaws in an item; that is fraud and is illegal. The term caveat emptor is loaned from Latin, and first appeared in English usage in the early 1500s. As fewer people understand Latin, the term caveat emptor is more and more used in conjunction with its meaning, let the buyer beware.


And the episode proves one of the oldest adages in the City, which Greg Hands will know well from his career in the Square Mile before politics: caveat emptor. (The London Evening Standard)

I add that banking regulations like Glass-Steagall created by the Democrats in the 1930s to end the ‘caveat emptor’ GOP policies of the 1920s, which helped cause the Great Depression, have been the target of elimination by the GOP since Reagan, (even after the 2008 crash). (The Olympian)

Caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) is in play with real estate transactions, with most states (Indiana included) not requiring notification of certain stigma attached. (The Southside Times)