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[seylz-pee-puh l] /ˈseɪlzˌpi pəl/
plural noun
people engaged in selling.
Origin of salespeople
An Americanism dating back to 1875-80; sales + people


[seylz-pur-suh n] /ˈseɪlzˌpɜr sən/
a person who sells goods, services, etc.
First recorded in 1915-20; sales + person
Usage note
See -person. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for salespeople
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Very naturally, the merchants and the salespeople did not like this.

    The King's Cup-Bearer Amy Catherine Walton
  • She had vaguely heard that shopwalkers in England could make or break the salespeople.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • And the several thousand salespeople in the huge store were slangily nicknamed "Peter Rolls's hands."

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • In an instant she realized that the pads upon which salespeople did hasty sums must be called check books, anyhow in America.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • About hours—we close at the right time, but the salespeople are kept late, often very late, looking over stock.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • And then you can leave your salespeople to wait on all customers, giving you more time for real management—generalship.

    Analyzing Character

    Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb
Word Origin and History for salespeople



1920, from genitive of sale + person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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