General English


  • noun an offer to buy something at a specific price.
  • noun an offer to sell something or do a piece of work at a specific price



  • A complete signed proposal to perform work (or a designated portion) for a stipulated sum. A bid is submitted in accordance with the bidding documents.


  • noun an offer to buy something (such as a share, currency, commodity, company or a unit in a unit trust) at a certain price.
  • verb to offer to pay a particular price for something such as a share, commodity, company or a unit in a unit trust


  • The price that is actively quoted to purchase currency from an offeror. The bid may or may not be listed on foreign exchange markets, but typically represents the highest available offer to buy the security.


  • noun an offer to pay a particular price, made at an auction

Origin & History of “bid”

Bid has a complicated history, for it comes from what were originally two completely distinct Old English verbs. The main one was biddan (past tense bæd) ‘ask, demand’, from which we get such modern English usages as ‘I bade him come in’. It goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *bithjan (source of German bitten ‘ask’), which was formed from the base *beth- (from which modern English gets bead). But a contribution to the present nexus of meanings was also made by Old English bēodan (past tense bēad) ‘offer, proclaim’ (whence ‘bid at an auction’ and so on). this can be traced ultimately to an Indo-European base *bh(e)udh-, which gave Germanic *buth-, source also of German bieten ‘offer’ and perhaps of English beadle (13th c.), originally ‘one who proclaims’.