Definition for PUR'CHASE

PUR'CHASE, v.t. [Fr. pourchasser, to seek, to pursue; pour and chasser, to chase, It. cacciare, Sp. cazar. This word seems to be considered by Blackstone as formed from the L. perquisitio. This is an error. The word is from the root of chase; pourchasser is to pursue to the end or object, and hence to obtain. In law Latin, purchase, the noun, was written purchacium. The legal use of the word in obtaining writs, shows best its true origin; to purchase a writ, is to sue out a writ, that is, to seek it out; for sue, seek, and L. sequor, are all of one origin, and synonymous with chase. See Blackstone, b. 3, ch. 18. Spellman ad voc.]

  1. In its primary and legal sense, to gain, obtain or acquire by any means, except by descent or hereditary right. – Blackstone.
  2. In common usage, to buy; to obtain property by paying an equivalent in money. It differs from barter only in the circumstance, that in purchasing, the price or equivalent given or secured is money; in bartering, the equivalent is given in goods. We purchase lands or goods for ready money or on credit.
  3. To obtain by an expense of labor, danger or other sacrifice; as, to purchase favor with flattery. A world who would not purchase with a bruise? – Milton.
  4. To expiate or recompense by a fine or forfeit; as, to purchase out abuses with tears and prayer. – Shak.
  5. To sue out or procure, as a writ.

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