The rich man must sell up not only himself but his whole class; and that can be done only through the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mother and I arranged for the funerals, but we had to sell up the home.
Grandfather has got to sell up all the stock to pay a debt.'
Only a small portion of them, however, had wanted to sell up to date.
To barter the national honour is legitimate policy; to sell up our enemies has been a practice since the days of the Plantagenets.
Thus they talked it over until they agreed that it would be best to sell up as soon as possible and leave.
There's nought to be done but sell up, and pay the cash down.
And so you sell up everything here—and you start for the country—eh?
We must have them at once, or we must sell up that clerical gent.
He promises to provide well for us both, and he wants us to sell up Mortimer Street, and come as quick as possible.
Old English sellan "to give, furnish, supply, lend; surrender, give up; deliver to; promise," from Proto-Germanic *saljan "offer up, deliver" (cf. Old Norse selja "to hand over, deliver, sell;" Old Frisian sella, Old High German sellen "to give, hand over, sell;" Gothic saljan "to offer a sacrifice"), ultimately from PIE root *sel- (3) "to take, grasp."
Meaning "to give up for money" had emerged by c.1000, but in Chaucer selle still can mean "to give." Students of Old English learn early that the word that looks like sell usually means "give." An Old English word for "to sell" was bebycgan, from bycgan "to buy."
Slang meaning "to swindle" is from 1590s. The noun phrase hard sell is recorded from 1952. To sell one's soul is from c.1570. Sell-by date is from 1972. To sell like hot cakes is from 1839. Selling-point attested from 1959.
To sell (someone) down the river is first recorded 1927, but probably from or with recollection of slavery days, on notion of sale from the Upper South to the cotton plantations of the Deep South (attested in this literal sense since 1851).
A hoax or swindle; a deception: The Cardiff Giant was a ''sell'' (1838+)
[first verb sense said in an article of 1810 to be derived from sell a bargain, ''the dexterous transfer of any unmarketable commodity for a high price to an unwary customer'']