over·​sell | \ˌō-vər-ˈsel \
oversold\ˌō-​vər-​ˈsōld \; overselling

Definition of oversell 

transitive verb

1a : to sell too much or too many to

b : to sell too much or too many of

2 : to make excessive claims for

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Other Words from oversell

oversell \ˈō-​vər-​ˌsel \ noun

Examples of oversell in a Sentence

Hotels routinely oversell their rooms, expecting a small percentage of no-shows. Don't oversell yourself in the job interview. The salesman oversold the features on the new model.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even in this era of sophisticated computer systems, or perhaps because of them, airlines oversell flights and even, on rare occasions, sell the same seat to two people. George Hobica, USA TODAY, "Six ways you can get booted from your seat on a plane," 9 Jan. 2018 He was given a penalty try in the 78th minute—only for it to be taken away by a video-assistant referee, showing that Neymar had oversold the contact. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Brazil Lives Up to Its Reputation, Tops Costa Rica at World Cup," 22 June 2018 The book is written by Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, whose exposé brought down Theranos, a healthcare company that wildly oversold the capabilities of its blood-testing device. Alan Murray, Fortune, "ZTE Pushback, Dodd-Frank, Barclays Plans: CEO Daily for May 23, 2018," 23 May 2018 Christie Prades doesn't oversell her Gloria Estefan, keeping the character human and grounded. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Hot, Timely 'On Your Feet!' Delivers Estefans' Indomitable Spirit," 20 June 2018 The charter-school advocates, including the CEO of Netflix and a Republican megadonor, attacked Newsom for skipping work as lieutenant governor, overselling his achievements and mismanaging San Francisco as mayor. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Gavin Newsom heads toward general election in California governor's race," 5 June 2018 Some political observers think Cambridge Analytica oversold its ad targeting capabilities, but questions still emerged about the firm’s work for the Trump campaign. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The feds are reportedly investigating Cambridge Analytica," 16 May 2018 One mainstay of the Trump era is reporters are constantly wary of overselling the salience of the political moment. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The Trump White House crossed a new threshold for political debasement this week," 12 May 2018 The Fallows don’t want to oversell the extent of this grassroots energy. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Our Towns: How small cities aren’t just surviving, but thriving," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oversell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oversell

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for oversell

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oversell

The first known use of oversell was in 1576

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More Definitions for oversell



English Language Learners Definition of oversell

: to accept payment or reservations for more rooms, seats, tickets, etc., than you have available

: to praise (something or someone) too much

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More from Merriam-Webster on oversell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oversell

Spanish Central: Translation of oversell

Britannica English: Translation of oversell for Arabic Speakers

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