American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent.
- v. To offer for sale, as for one's business or livelihood: The partners sell textiles.
- v. To give up or surrender in exchange for a price or reward: sell one's soul to the devil.
- v. To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of: a book that sold a million copies.
- v. To bring about or encourage sales of; promote: Good publicity sold the product.
- v. To cause to be accepted; advocate successfully: We sold the proposal to the school committee.
- v. To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something: They sold me on the idea.
- v. To exchange ownership for money or its equivalent; engage in selling.
- v. To be sold or be on sale: Grapes are selling high this season.
- v. To attract prospective buyers; be popular on the market: an item that sells well.
- v. To be approved of; gain acceptance.
- n. The activity or method of selling.
- n. Something that sells or gains acceptance in a particular way: Their program to raise taxes will be a difficult sell.
- n. Slang A deception; a hoax.
- sell off To get rid of by selling, often at reduced prices.
- sell out To put all of one's goods or possessions up for sale.
- sell out Slang To betray one's cause or colleagues: He sold out to the other side.
- idiom. sell a bill of goods Informal To take unfair advantage of.
- idiom. sell down the river Informal To betray the true trust or faith of.
- idiom. sell short To contract for the sale of securities or commodities one expects to own at a later date and at more advantageous terms.
- idiom. sell short To underestimate the true value or worth of: Don't sell your colleague short; she's a smart lawyer.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To give; furnish.
- To give over; give up; deliver.
- To give up or make over to another for a consideration' transfer ownership or exclusive right of possession in (something) to another for an equivalent; dispose of for something else, especially for money: the correlative of buy, and usually distinguished from barter, in which one commodity is given for another.
- To make a matter of bargain and sale; accept a price or reward for, as for a breach of duty or trust; take a bridge for; betray.
- 5. To impose upon; cheat; deceive; disappoint.
- To betray by secret bargains: as, the leaders sold out their candidate for governor.
- To dispose of goods or property, usually for money.
- To be in demand as an article of sale; find purchasers; be sold.
- To dispose of all one's shares in a company, all of one's interest in a business, or all of one's stock as of a given commodity.
- In stock-broking, to dispose in open exchange of shares contracted to be sold, but not paid for at the time specified for delivery, the original purchaser being required to make good the difference between the contract price and the price actually received.
- n. An imposition; a cheat; a deception; a trick played at another's expense.
- n. A seat, especially an elevated or dignified one; a place of honor and dignity.
- n. A saddle.
- n. [Some commentators on Shakspere think that the passage in Macbeth, i. 7. 27.
- n. sould read, “Valting ambition, which o'erleaps its sell.”]
- n. An obsolete variant of sill.
- n. A middle English form of cell.
- n. A Scotch form of self.
- v. transitive, intransitive To agree to transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.
- v. ergative To be sold.
- v. To promote a particular viewpoint.
- v. To trick, cheat, or manipulate someone.
- v. professional wrestling, slang To pretend that an opponent's blows or maneuvers are causing legitimate injury; to act.
- n. An act of selling.
- n. An easy task.
- n. colloquial, dated An imposition, a cheat; a hoax.
- n. obsolete A seat or stool.
- n. archaic A saddle.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Obs. or Scot. Self.
- n. obsolete A sill.
- n. obsolete A cell; a house.
- n. obsolete A saddle for a horse.
- n. obsolete A throne or lofty seat.
- v. To transfer to another for an equivalent; to give up for a valuable consideration; to dispose of in return for something, especially for money. It is the correlative of buy.
- v. To make a matter of bargain and sale of; to accept a price or reward for, as for a breach of duty, trust, or the like; to betray.
- v. Slang To impose upon; to trick; to deceive; to make a fool of; to cheat.
- v. To practice selling commodities.
- v. To be sold.
- n. colloq. An imposition; a cheat; a hoax.
- v. give up for a price or reward
- v. be responsible for the sale of
- v. deliver to an enemy by treachery
- v. be approved of or gain acceptance
- v. do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood
- v. persuade somebody to accept something
- v. be sold at a certain price or in a certain way
- n. the activity of persuading someone to buy
- v. exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
- From French selle, from Latin sella. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English sellen, from Old English sellan, to give, sell. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Fans know what sell: they write stories, make vids from clips, create drawings from those items already solid enough to *sell*.”
“In fact the word sell comes from the Old English word”
“The point here is, it's one thing to use the term sell the war, promote what you're doing.”
“(Secret Warriors) and Dale Eaglesham's (Punisher) run on the title sell out, since their run began with issue #570.”
“Say the word "sell" enough times, and you win a long, awkward elevator ride out of the building with your soon-to-be-former boss.”
“The way to sell is to combine your communication skills with knowledge of psychology.”
“Read Robert Powell's Sept. 7 column on analysts' aversion to the word "sell".”
“Many conservatives are angry at Crist for what they call a sell-out on stimulus money and an assortment of things like appointing judges they deem too liberal and restoring felons 'civil rights.”
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