[seylz-muh n]

noun, plural sales·men.

a man who sells goods, services, etc.

Origin of salesman

First recorded in 1515–25; sales + -man

Usage note

See -man. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for salesman

Contemporary Examples of salesman

Historical Examples of salesman

  • The house was unlocked, their landlord being a salesman at Covent Garden.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • As for his not encountering the salesman until now, he had been lucky.

    They Twinkled Like Jewels

    Philip Jos Farmer

  • She thanked Heaven that Gerald was a genius, not a salesman.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Some customers are slow to open up and extend their confidence to a salesman.

    Dollars and Sense

    Col. Wm. C. Hunter

  • No salesman ever made a distinct hit by telling vulgar stories.

    Dollars and Sense

    Col. Wm. C. Hunter

British Dictionary definitions for salesman


noun plural -men

Also called: (fem) saleswoman, (fem) salesgirl, (fem) saleslady a person who sells merchandise or services either in a shop or by canvassing in a designated areaGender-neutral form: salesperson
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

Word Origin and History for salesman

1520s, from genitive of sale (cf. craftsman, tradesman) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper