Idioms

    sell short. short(def 49).
    sell (someone) a bill of goods. bill of goods(def 3).

Origin of sell

1
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

Synonyms for sell

Synonym study

1. See trade.

Antonyms for sell

1. buy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for sellable

sell

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
sell oneself
  1. to convince someone else of one's potential or worth
  2. to give up one's moral or spiritual standards, etc
sell short
  1. informalto disparage or belittle
  2. financeto sell securities or goods without owning them in anticipation of buying them before delivery at a lower price

noun

the act or an instance of sellingCompare hard sell, soft sell
informal
  1. a trick, hoax, or deception
  2. Irisha great disappointmentthe service in the hotel was a sell
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

Word Origin and History for sellable

sell

v.

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with sellable

sell

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

also see:

  • 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.