Origin of selling
- 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.
- 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.
- sell out,
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sell on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for selling
There is just no way of selling this picture with an innocent defense like, “she just asked for a snap.”Buckingham Palace Disputes Sex Allegations Against Prince ‘Randy Andy’
January 4, 2015
He was not selling “loosies” that day, no cigarettes were found on his person, and thus there was no probable cause in play.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
Even the legendary 1980s televisions show Dallas is back on the air, selling its twenty-first century brand of Texas bravado.Will Texas Stay Texan?
December 29, 2014
The process of co-opting black music and selling it back to the adoring public in whiteface is as American as apple pie.The Cultural Crimes of Iggy Azalea
December 29, 2014
We see a system that will indict a 20-year-old for selling crack but not a police officer for choking the life out of a citizen.Bobby Shmurda and Rap’s Ultimate Hoop Dream
December 23, 2014
Well, I'm buying and she's selling, and we'll have that money back.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I have seen legislators bought like bullocks--they selling themselves.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
There's no reason why these books should not keep on selling.Her Father's Daughter
He regretted to say that the book was not selling so well as he had hoped it would sell.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
It is only a question of buying upon his part and of selling upon mine.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
- 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
- to convince someone else of one's potential or worth
- to give up one's moral or spiritual standards, etc
- sell short
- informalto disparage or belittle
- financeto sell securities or goods without owning them in anticipation of buying them before delivery at a lower price
Word Origin and History for selling
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 selling
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