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.
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.
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Example sentences from the Web for sell oneself
The speaker conjures up centuries of collective sagacity, aligning oneself with an eternal, inarguable good.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The Dallas Cowboys sell out their state-of-the art football stadium.
As more people come online, the most basic tasks—such as going out to the market to sell produce—will become more efficient.
Along the Prado they used to sell slaves on the auction block, too.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind|Brin-Jonathan Butler|December 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As for the political class, I doubt I need to give you a very hard sell on its failure.The U.S. Will Torture Again—and We’re All to Blame|Michael Tomasky|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He couldn't sell them; he couldn't burn them; he was even compelled to insure them, to his intense disgust.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
Those four pictures—I would not sell those four Watteaus for one hundred thousand francs.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
He thought these things over carefully and finally decided that he would sell them himself.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
For an Indian to sell a horse and wagon in the San Jacinto valley was not an easy thing, unless he would give them away.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
For us to take her place it became necessary for us to loan before we could sell and buy.Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips