What Does Buy the Next Round Mean?

Buy the Next Round Meaning

Definition: Purchase a drink—almost always alcoholic—for every member of the group who is drinking.

In this case, a round is one drink for each person in the group. It is very common for people in a group to take turns going up to the bar and paying for drinks; it is far easier to do this than crowd the bar with every person who wants a drink.

If you say you will buy the next round, you are promising to take your turn and pay for the next drink for each person. It is expected that every member of the group will, at one point, buy a round for the group, so, in the end, you end up paying for the number of drinks you consumed.

Origin of Buy the Next Round

Meaning of buy next round Round, as a noun, has meant quantity of liquor served to a company at one time since the 1630s. It was originally a British and Australian tradition but has come to be practiced in North America as well.

 Buying a round of drinks may come from the idea that the drinks are going all around the group, or it may come from the idea of succession that is implied in round— there is a round of drinks, then another round, then another round.

In an 1898 edition of The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, a group of men sit around the bar telling stories, and it is said that,

  • The man who sold fur collars as side line bought the next round.

Examples of To Buy the Next Round

Define buying the next roundIn the modern day, it is a common tradition to pay for drinks in rounds, rather than individually.

People might say,

  • I’ll get this round; you’ll get the next?


  • Thanks, Jimmy. I’ll buy the next round.

More Examples

  • James told Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman he bought the next round almost immediately. “I said, ‘When he finishes his drink, you bring over another drink for him,” James recalled telling the bartender. –New York Daily News


To buy the next round of drinks is to buy everyone in the group another alcoholic beverage. This is done in turns, and it is usually expected that everyone in the group will pay for at least one round.