Origin of sell-off
Definition for sell off (2 of 2)
verb (used with object), sold, sell·ing.
verb (used without object), sold, sell·ing.
- to dispose of entirely by selling.
- to betray (an associate, one's country, a cause, etc.); turn traitor: He committed suicide rather than sell out to the enemy.
Origin of sell1
British Dictionary definitions for sell off (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for sell off (2 of 2)
verb sells, selling or sold
- to convince someone else of one's potential or worth
- to give up one's moral or spiritual standards, etc
- informal to disparage or belittle
- finance to sell securities or goods without owning them in anticipation of buying them before delivery at a lower price
Word Origin for sell
Word Origin and History for sell off
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).
Idioms and Phrases with sell off (1 of 2)
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.
Idioms and Phrases with sell off (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with sell
- sell a bill of goods
- sell down the river
- sell like hot cakes
- sell off
- sell oneself
- sell out
- sell short
- sell someone on
- hard sell
- like hot cakes, sell