verb (used with object), o·ver·sold, o·ver·sell·ing.

to sell more of (a stock, product, etc.) than can be delivered.
to sell aggressively, as by using high-pressure merchandising techniques.
to emphasize the good points of excessively and to a self-defeating extent: She so oversold the picnic that I became convinced I'd have a better time at the movies.

verb (used without object), o·ver·sold, o·ver·sell·ing.

to sell something aggressively.
to make extreme claims for something or someone.

Nearby words

  1. overseas,
  2. overseas cap,
  3. overseas telegram,
  4. oversee,
  5. overseer,
  6. oversensitive,
  7. overset,
  8. oversew,
  9. oversexed,
  10. overshade

Origin of oversell

First recorded in 1570–80; over- + sell1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for oversell


verb -sells, -selling or -sold

(tr) to sell more of (a commodity) than can be supplied
to use excessively aggressive methods in selling (commodities)
(tr) to exaggerate the merits of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012