Also called public sale. a publicly held sale at which property or goods are sold to the highest bidder.
(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)
to sell by auction (often followed by off ): He auctioned off his furniture.

1585–95; < Latin auctiōn- (stem of auctiō) an increase, especially in the bidding at a sale, equivalent to auct(us) increased, past participle of augēre (aug- increase + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

auctionable, adjective
auctionary, adjective
proauction, adjective
unauctioned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
auction (ˈɔːkʃən)
1.  Compare Dutch auction a public sale of goods or property, esp one in which prospective purchasers bid against each other until the highest price is reached
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
vb (often foll by off)
4.  to sell by auction
[C16: from Latin auctiō an increasing, from augēre to increase]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"a sale by increase of bids," 1590s, from L. auctionem (nom. auctio) "an increasing sale," from auctus, pp. of augere "to increase," from PIE base *aug- "to increase" (see augment). In northern England and Scotland, called a roup. The verb is attested from 1807. In the U.S.,
something is sold at auction; in England, by auction. Auctioneer (n.) is attested from 1708; as a verb from 1733.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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