transitive verbsold, sell′ing
- to give up, deliver, or exchange (property, goods, services, etc.) for money or its equivalent
- to have or offer regularly for sale; deal in: a store that sells hardware, to sell real estate
- to make or try to make sales in or to: to sell chain stores
- to give up or deliver (a person) to his or her enemies or into slavery, bondage, etc.
- to be a traitor to; betray (a country, cause, etc.)
- to give up or dispose of (one's honor, one's vote, etc.) for profit or a dishonorable purpose
- to bring about, help in, or promote, the sale of: television sells many products
- to establish faith, confidence, or belief in: to sell oneself to the public
- to persuade (someone) of the value of something; convince: with on: sell him on the idea
- Slang to cheat or dupe
Origin of sellMiddle English sellen from Old English sellan, to give, offer, akin to Gothic saljan, to offer (sacrifice): causative formation in sense “to cause to take” from Indo-European base an unverified form sel-, to take, grasp from source sale, Classical Greek helein, to take
- to exchange property, goods, or services for money, etc.
- to work or act as a salesman or salesclerk
- to be sold; attract buyers: often used with reference to the rate of sale: to sell well, poorly, etc.
- to be sold (for or at): belts selling for six dollars
- Informal to be accepted, approved, etc.: a scheme that won't sell
- Slang a trick or hoax
- selling or salesmanship
- to exchange one's services for a price, esp. for a dishonorable purpose, as for prostitution
- Informal to convince another of one's worth
- to get rid of completely by selling
- Informal to betray (one's associates, cause, country, etc.)
- Informal to give up or be unfaithful to one's artistic aspirations or moral principles so as to achieve success, financial gain, etc.
- to sell securities, etc. not yet owned
- to value at less than its worth; underestimate