sell oneself


1

Convince another of one's merits, present oneself in a favorable light, as in A job interview is an ideal opportunity to sell oneself to a prospective employer. Originally this idiom, dating from the second half of the 1700s, alluded to selling one's services for money, but it was being used more loosely by the mid-1800s.

2

Compromise one's principles for monetary gain. An early version was sell oneself (or one's soul) to the devil, which alluded to enlisting the devil's help in exchange for one's soul after death. It is embodied in the legend of Faust, first recorded in the late 1500s.

QUIZZES

WHO SAID IT: A QUIZ ON PRESIDENTIAL WIT AND WISDOM

Think you know your presidents? Take this quiz and see if you can match the style, wit, and ideology of these memorable lines to the right POTUS.
Question 1 of 9
“I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might and that if I am wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.