View synonyms for sell-off


[ sel-awf, -of ]


  1. Stock Exchange. a sudden and marked decline in stock or bond prices resulting from widespread selling.
  2. an act or instance of liquidating assets or subsidiaries, as by divestiture.

sell off


  1. tr, adverb to sell (remaining or unprofitable items), esp at low prices
“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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of sell-off1

First recorded in 1935–40; noun use of verb phrase sell off
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Idioms and Phrases

Get rid of by selling, often at reduced prices. For example, The jeweler was eager to sell off the last of the diamond rings . [c. 1700] Also see sell out , def. 1.
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Example Sentences

Still, this feverish sell-off appears to go a step beyond fundamentals in the tech sphere.

Only in the midst of a sell-off tinged by group-think could these numbers be made to be bad.

This sell-off speaks to the continuing anxiety that a world not led by the United States and Europe and Japan is a world adrift.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.