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The highest price a market maker is prepared to pay for a security, commodity or currency. The difference between this price and the offer or asking price (the lowest price at which a market maker would sell the same security) is called the bid/offer spread (also bid/ask or bid/asked). The term bid is also used more generally to describe an offer to buy, for instance in an auction or tender, or in an attempt to acquire a controlling stake in a company - as in a takeover bid.