1. Also called public sale. a publicly held sale at which property or goods are sold to the highest bidder.
  2. Cards.
    1. auction bridge.
    2. (in bridge or certain other games) the competitive bidding to fix a contract that a player or players undertake to fulfill.

verb (used with object)

  1. to sell by auction (often followed by off): He auctioned off his furniture.


  1. a public sale of goods or property, esp one in which prospective purchasers bid against each other until the highest price is reachedCompare Dutch auction
  2. the competitive calls made in bridge and other games before play begins, undertaking to win a given number of tricks if a certain suit is trumps
  3. See auction bridge


  1. (tr often foll by off) to sell by auction

“a sale by increase of bids,” 1590s, from Latin auctionem (nominative auctio) “an increasing sale, auction, public sale,” noun of action from past participle stem of augere “to increase,” from PIE root *aug- “to increase” (see augment). In northern England and Scotland, called a roup. In the U.S., something is sold at auction; in England, by auction.


1807, from auction (n.). Related: Auctioned; auctioning.

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