caveat emptor

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin caveat (may he/she/subject noun beware), the third-person subjunctive of caveō (I beware) + emptor (buyer).

Pronunciation[edit]

Phrase[edit]

caveat emptor

  1. Used as a warning to anyone buying something that there might be unforeseen problems or faults with what is bought.
    • 2021 March 8, Jane E. Brody, “Medical Marijuana Is Not Regulated as Most Medicines Are”, in The New York Times[1]:
      In an email she wrote that the lack of regulation “leads to difficulty extrapolating available evidence to various products on the consumer market given the differences in chemical composition and purity.” She cautioned the public to weigh “both potential benefits and risks,” to which I would add caveat emptor — buyer beware.
  2. (historical, commercial law) A provision of Roman law which gave the seller of a house the legal right to keep quiet about any defects of the house.

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Further reading[edit]