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Line breaks: auc|tion
Pronunciation: /ˈɔːkʃ(ə)n

Definition of auction in English:


1A public sale in which goods or property are sold to the highest bidder: the books are expected to fetch a six-figure sum at tomorrow’s auction
More example sentences
  • They were going to sell her TV and furniture at a public auction.
  • Sales through public auctions could begin as early as the beginning of next year.
  • The well-established tradition for farmers to take the livestock for sale to their local auction market is now under threat.
1.1 [mass noun] The action or process of selling something to the highest bidder: the Ferrari sold at auction for £10 million
More example sentences
  • This was because after her death, her collection was sold at auction and only a few items remained or were bought back.
  • A copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic has been sold at auction for almost 400,000 euros.
  • The valuables could be identified immediately if a thief tries to sell them at auction.
2 Bridge The part of the play in which players bid to decide the contract in which the hand shall be played.
Example sentences
  • Each player bids until one wins the auction and gets the contract.
  • Each hand begins with an auction in which players can bid a contract that they are prepared to play.
  • The player who prevailed in the auction becomes declarer, and the final bid determines the contract.


[with object] Back to top  
Sell or offer for sale at an auction: the painting was auctioned at Christie’s
More example sentences
  • The amount obtained by auctioning the paintings will be contributed to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
  • I wonder if Christie's, where he is deputy chairman, will be auctioning the painting?
  • He added that many of the paintings had not been auctioned before which made them particularly attractive to collectors.


late 16th century: from Latin auctio(n-) 'increase, auction', from the verb augere 'to increase'.

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