Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To contract to sell more of (a stock or commodity) than can be delivered.
  • transitive v. To be too eager or insistent in attempting to sell something to.
  • transitive v. To present with excessive or unwarranted enthusiasm; overpraise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To agree to sell more of something than one can supply.
  • v. To be too eager in attempting to sell something.
  • v. To praise something to excess.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To sell for a higher price than; to exceed in selling price.
  • transitive v. To sell beyond means of delivery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sell at too high a price.
  • To sell more than can he delivered or more than is in existence; to “sell short”: as, to oversell a stock.

Etymologies

From over- +‎ sell. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ. COM: So many times when I get wind of a video, or somebody here gets wind of one, a lot of times they - people kind of oversell, and it ` s not as much as what it ` s cracked it up to be.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2006

  • LEVIN: Yes, I mean, I have to tell you, Brooke: so many times when I get wind of a video, or somebody here gets wind of one, a lot of times they - people kind of oversell, and it ` s not as much as what it ` s cracked it up to be.

    CNN Transcript Nov 20, 2006

  • I'd like the think that scientists who are well-trained and open-minded will be convinced by the data, so long as I don't, as one person put it, "oversell" the model.

    Archive 2005-03-01

  • The backpedaling makes me think that the Administration must have also lost confidence in finding WMD's and that the whole thing was a cynical oversell which is now being revised like a movie after a test audience.

    hairy and smelly

  • - Unlike so many other genre conventions, Creation Entertainment has a strict company policy not to "oversell" our conventions.

    ShowHype - Top Entertainment News, Videos, and Blogs

  • - CONVENTION SEATING & THE CREATION ENTERTAINMENT DIFFERENCE: Unlike so many other genre conventions, Creation Entertainment has a strict company policy not to "oversell" our conventions.

    ShowHype - Top Entertainment News, Videos, and Blogs

  • We will not 'oversell' nor over-claim about our readership.

    GamesIndustry.biz - News

  • Alistair Darling warned Gordon Brown not to 'oversell' his G20 summit deal yesterday as he admitted it would not stop unemployment spiralling.

    Home | Mail Online

  • Perhaps in his next edition he can include the term "oversell," but it might not need explanation.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • If you oversell yourself it may come back at you on the job.

    Karen Atkinson: Career Options for Creatives (Finding a Job)

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