[ sel-awf, -of ]
/ ˈsɛlˌɔf, -ˌɒf /
Stock Exchange. a sudden and marked decline in stock or bond prices resulting from widespread selling.
an act or instance of liquidating assets or subsidiaries, as by divestiture.
Origin of sell-off
First recorded in 1935–40; noun use of verb phrase sell off
Definition for sell off (2 of 2)
[ sel ]
/ sɛl /
verb (used with object), sold, sell·ing.
to transfer (goods) to or render (services) for another in exchange for money; dispose of to a purchaser for a price: He sold the car to me for $1000.
to deal in; keep or offer for sale: He sells insurance. This store sells my favorite brand.
to make a sale or offer for sale to: He'll sell me the car for $1000.
to persuade or induce (someone) to buy something: The salesman sold me on a more expensive model than I wanted.
to persuade or induce someone to buy (something): The clerk really sold the shoes to me by flattery.
to make sales of: The hot record sold a million copies this month.
to cause to be accepted, especially generally or widely: to sell an idea to the public.
to cause or persuade to accept; convince: to sell the voters on a candidate.
to accept a price for or make a profit of (something not a proper object for such action): to sell one's soul for political power.
to force or exact a price for: The defenders of the fort sold their lives dearly.
Informal. to cheat, betray, or hoax.
verb (used without object), sold, sell·ing.
to engage in selling something.
to be on sale.
to offer something for sale: I like this house—will they sell?
to be employed to persuade or induce others to buy, as a salesperson or a clerk in a store: One sister is a cashier and the other sells.
to have a specific price; be offered for sale at the price indicated (followed by at or for): Eggs used to sell at sixty cents a dozen. This shirt sells for thirty dollars.
to be in demand by buyers: On a rainy day, umbrellas really sell.
to win acceptance, approval, or adoption: Here's an idea that'll sell.
an act or method of selling.
Stock Exchange. a security to be sold.
Informal. a cheat; hoax.
sell off, to sell, especially at reduced prices, in order to get rid of: The city is selling off a large number of small lots at public auction.
- 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.
sell up, British. to sell out: She was forced to sell up her entire stock of crystal.
Origin of sell1
before 900; Middle English sellen (v.), Old English sellan orig., to give, hence, give up (someone) to an enemy, betray, exchange for money; cognate with Old Norse selja, Low German sellen, Gothic saljan to give up, sell, orig., to cause to take; akin to Greek heleîn to take
Related formssell·a·ble, adjective
1. See trade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for sell off (1 of 2)
(tr, adverb) to sell (remaining or unprofitable items), esp at low prices
British Dictionary definitions for sell off (2 of 2)
/ (sɛl) /
verb sells, selling or sold
to dispose of or transfer or be disposed of or transferred to a purchaser in exchange for money or other consideration; put or be on sale
to deal in (objects, property, etc)he sells used cars for a living
(tr) to give up or surrender for a price or rewardto sell one's honour
to promote or facilitate the sale of (objects, property, etc)publicity sells many products
to induce or gain acceptance ofto sell an idea
(intr) to be in demand on the marketthese dresses sell well in the spring
(tr) informal to deceive or cheat
(tr foll by on) to persuade to accept or approve (of)to sell a buyer on a purchase
sell down the river informal to betray
- 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
Derived Formssellable, adjective
Word Origin for sell
Old English sellan to lend, deliver; related to Old Norse selja to sell, Gothic saljan to offer sacrifice, Old High German sellen to sell, Latin cōnsilium advice
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
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.