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verb, \ˈsel\

Simple Definition of sell

  • : to exchange (something) for money

  • : to make (something) available to be bought

  • : to be able to be bought for a particular price

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sell

sold play \ˈsōld\ selling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to deliver or give up in violation of duty, trust, or loyalty and especially for personal gain :  betray —often used with out <sell out their country>

  3. 2a (1) :  to give up (property) to another for something of value (as money) (2) :  to offer for saleb :  to give up in return for something else especially foolishly or dishonorably <sold his birthright for a mess of pottage>c :  to exact a price for <sold their lives dearly>

  4. 3a :  to deliver into slavery for moneyb :  to give into the power of another <sold his soul to the devil>c :  to deliver the personal services of for money

  5. 4 :  to dispose of or manage for profit instead of in accordance with conscience, justice, or duty <sold their votes>

  6. 5a :  to develop a belief in the truth, value, or desirability of :  gain acceptance for <trying to sell a program to the Congress>b :  to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something <sell children on reading>

  7. 6 :  to impose on :  cheat

  8. 7a :  to cause or promote the sale of <using television advertising to sell cereal>b :  to make or attempt to make sales toc :  to influence or induce to make a purchase

  9. 8 :  to achieve a sale of <sold a million copies>

  10. intransitive verb
  11. 1 :  to dispose of something by sale <thinks now is a good time to sell>

  12. 2 :  to achieve a sale; also :  to achieve satisfactory sales <hoped that the new line would sell>

  13. 3 :  to have a specified price

sellable play \ˈse-lə-bəl\ adjective
sell down the river
  1. :  to betray the faith of

sell short
  1. 1 :  to make a short sale

  2. 2 :  to fail to value properly :  underestimate

Examples of sell in a sentence

  1. He buys and remodels houses and then sells them at a profit.

  2. Stock prices are increasing, so now is a good time to sell.

  3. Only a few stores sell that type of equipment.

Origin of sell

Middle English, from Old English sellan; akin to Old High German sellen to sell, Greek helein to take

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with sell




Definition of sell

  1. 1 :  a deliberate deception :  hoax

  2. 2 :  the act or an instance of selling

  3. 3 :  something to be sold or caused to be accepted <the new mystery novel was an easy sell>; also :  someone to whom something is sold <the new purchasing agent was a tough sell>


First Known Use of sell




noun \ˈsel\

Definition of sell


  1. :  saddle

Variants of sell

or selle play \ˈsel\

Origin of sell

Middle English selle, from Anglo-French sele, from Latin sella — more at settle

First Known Use: 15th century



Definition of sell

  1. chiefly Scottish variant of self

SELL Defined for Kids


verb \ˈsel\

Definition of sell for Students

sold \ˈsōld\selling

  1. 1 :  to exchange in return for money or something else of value <He sold his bike to my brother.>

  2. 2 :  to make available for sale <The store sells shoes.>

  3. 3 :  to be sold or priced <The new product is selling well.> <These sell for a dollar apiece.>

seller noun
sell out
  1. 1 :  to be bought until all are gone <Tickets quickly sold out.>

  2. 2 :  to betray a person or duty <They sold out their country.>

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of sell


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to transfer ownership of by sale — compare barter, convey, give

  3. 2 :  to offer for sale

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to dispose of something by sale :  make a sale — compare donate

seller noun
sell short
  1. :  to sell something one does not own :  make a short sale

Seen and Heard

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to expose to danger or risk

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