sell1/sɛl/USA pronunciationv.,sold/soʊld/USA pronunciation sell•ing,n. v.
to transfer (goods or property) (to someone); to do or perform (services) in exchange for money (for someone): [~ + object]He sold his car.[~ + object + to + object]She sold her car to her sister.[~ + object + object]sold her sister her old car.[no object]He said he wasn't selling; he just wanted to talk to us.
to deal in; keep or offer for sale:[~ + object]to sell insurance.
to promote or cause the sale of:[~ + object]Packaging sells many products.
to obtain, total, or achieve sales of:[~ + object]The record sold a million copies.
to be offered for sale at the price indicated:[~ + at/for + object]This little model sells for $200.
to be in demand by buyers:[no object]On a rainy day, umbrellas really sell.
to (cause to) be accepted, esp. generally: [~ + object + to + object]to sell an idea to the public.[no object]Now there's an idea that will really sell!
to cause or persuade to see the value of: [~ + object]He did a good job of selling himself.[~ + object + on + object]to sell the voters on a candidate.
to surrender (something, or oneself) improperly for profit or advantage:[~ + object]to sell one's soul for power.
sell off, to rid oneself of by selling, esp. at reduced prices: [~ + off + object]to sell off last year's designs.[~ + object + off]to sell old furniture off before moving.
to sell everything completely: [be + sold out]The store is all sold out of beanbag chairs.[no object]The store sold out before we even got there!
to betray or be disloyal to (one's friend, a cause, etc.): [~ + out + object]He sold out his principles to get elected.[~ + object + out]He sold them out just for his own gain.[no object]He has sold out and will go along with whatever his boss wants.
to transfer (goods) to or render (services) for another in exchange for money; dispose of to a purchaser for a price:He sold the car to me for $1000.
to deal in; keep or offer for sale:He sells insurance. This store sells my favorite brand.
to make a sale or offer for sale to:He'll sell me the car for $1000.
to persuade or induce (someone) to buy something:The salesman sold me on a more expensive model than I wanted.
to persuade or induce someone to buy (something):The clerk really sold the shoes to me by flattery.
to make sales of:The hot record sold a million copies this month.
to cause to be accepted, esp. generally or widely:to sell an idea to the public.
to cause or persuade to accept; convince:to sell the voters on a candidate.
to accept a price for or make a profit of (something not a proper object for such action):to sell one's soul for political power.
to force or exact a price for:The defenders of the fort sold their lives dearly.
Informal Termsto cheat, betray, or hoax.
to engage in selling something.
to be on sale.
to offer something for sale:I like this house—will they sell?
to be employed to persuade or induce others to buy, as a salesperson or a clerk in a store:One sister is a cashier and the other sells.
to have a specific price; be offered for sale at the price indicated (fol. by at or for):Eggs used to sell at sixty cents a dozen. This shirt sells for thirty dollars.
to be in demand by buyers:On a rainy day, umbrellas really sell.
to win acceptance, approval, or adoption:Here's an idea that'll sell.
sell off, to sell, esp. at reduced prices, in order to get rid of:The city is selling off a large number of small lots at public auction.
to dispose of entirely by selling.
to betray (an associate, one's country, a cause, etc.); turn traitor:He committed suicide rather than sell out to the enemy.
sell short. See short (def. 33).
sell (someone ) a bill of goods. See bill of goods (def. 3).
British Termssell up, to sell out:She was forced to sell up her entire stock of crystal.
an act or method of selling.
Business[Stock Exchange.]a security to be sold.
Informal Termsa cheat; hoax.
bef. 900; Middle English sellen (verb, verbal), Old English sellan origin, originally, to give, hence, give up (someone) to an enemy, betray, exchange for money; cognate with Old Norse selja, Low German sellen, Gothic saljan to give up, sell, origin, originally, to cause to take; akin to Greek heleîn to take
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged exchange, vend. See trade.
to dispose of or transfer or be disposed of or transferred to a purchaser in exchange for money or other consideration; put or be on sale
to deal in (objects, property, etc): he sells used cars for a living
(transitive) to give up or surrender for a price or reward: to sell one's honour
to promote or facilitate the sale of (objects, property, etc): publicity sells many products
to induce or gain acceptance of: to sell an idea
(intransitive) to be in demand on the market: these dresses sell well in the spring
(transitive) informalto deceive or cheat
sell down the river ⇒ informalto betray
sell oneself ⇒ to convince someone else of one's potential or worth
to give up one's moral or spiritual standards, etc
sell short ⇒ informalto disparage or belittle
to sell securities or goods without owning them in anticipation of buying them before delivery at a lower price
the act or an instance of selling
informala trick, hoax, or deception
See alsosell in, sell off, sell out, sell upEtymology: Old English sellan to lend, deliver; related to Old Norse selja to sell, Gothic saljan to offer sacrifice, Old High German sellen to sell, Latin cōnsilium advice