from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent.
  • intransitive verb To offer or have available for sale.
  • intransitive verb To give up or surrender in exchange for a price or reward.
  • intransitive verb To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of.
  • intransitive verb To bring about or encourage sales of; promote.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be accepted; advocate successfully.
  • intransitive verb To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something.
  • intransitive verb To exchange ownership for money or its equivalent; engage in selling.
  • intransitive verb To be sold or be on sale.
  • intransitive verb To attract prospective buyers; be popular on the market.
  • intransitive verb To be approved of; gain acceptance.
  • noun An act or instance of selling.
  • noun Something that sells or gains acceptance in a particular way.
  • noun Slang A deception; a hoax.
  • idiom (sell a bill of goods) To take unfair advantage of.
  • idiom (sell down the river) To betray the 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.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An imposition; a cheat; a deception; a trick played at another's expense.
  • noun An obsolete variant of sill.
  • noun A middle English form of cell.
  • noun A seat, especially an elevated or dignified one; a place of honor and dignity.
  • noun A saddle.
  • noun [Some commentators on Shakspere think that the passage in Macbeth, i. 7. 27.
  • noun sould read, “Valting ambition, which o'erleaps its sell.”]
  • noun A Scotch form of self.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Obs. or Scot. Self.
  • noun obsolete A sill.
  • noun obsolete A cell; a house.
  • noun obsolete A saddle for a horse.
  • noun obsolete A throne or lofty seat.
  • intransitive verb To practice selling commodities.


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

[Middle English sellen, from Old English sellan, to give, sell.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French selle, from Latin sella.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English sellan ("give"), later "give up for money", from Proto-Germanic *saljanan.


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  • 5 of the 10 synonyms given are very negative. I'm not sure the thesaurus engines work all that well.

    And house is somewhat baffling.

    October 10, 2013