oversell

verb
over·​sell | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsel How to pronounce oversell (audio) \
oversold\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsōld How to pronounce oversold (audio) \; 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from oversell

oversell \ ˈō-​vər-​ˌsel How to pronounce oversell (audio) \ 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Things got worse in April 2017, when a major scandal erupted after security officers dragged a passenger off of a United flight that was oversold. NBC News, "United's Oscar Munoz to step down as CEO," 5 Dec. 2019 Greed drove opioid manufacturers to oversell and overproduce the drugs, the lawsuits allege. Los Angeles Times, "Who’s to blame for the nation’s opioid crisis? Massive trial may answer that question," 18 Sep. 2019 Her research found that California regulators have oversold the climate benefit of offsets by underestimating how protecting one patch of forest pushes logging into other forests. Lisa Song, ProPublica, "Cap and Trade Is Supposed to Solve Climate Change, but Oil and Gas Company Emissions Are Up," 15 Nov. 2019 The lawsuits also alleged that drugmakers improperly marketed opioids to prescribers, overselling the benefits and understating the risks of a class of drugs that has been known for centuries to be addictive. CBS News, "Tentative opioid settlement reached in Ohio with drug companies," 21 Oct. 2019 The lawsuits also alleged that drugmakers improperly marketed opioids to prescribers, overselling the benefits and understating the risks of a class of drugs that has been known for centuries to be addictive. Author: Julie Carr Smyth, Geoff Mulvihill, Anchorage Daily News, "Companies reach tentative deal with governments to settle opioids lawsuit," 21 Oct. 2019 The heart of most opioid lawsuits is a claim that drug companies improperly marketed the powerful painkillers to doctors and other prescribers, overselling the benefits and understating the risks of a class of drugs long linked to addiction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "1st federal opioid crisis trial to focus on distribution," 20 Oct. 2019 Trump also largely blamed his third national security adviser for overselling the strength of Venezuela's political opposition earlier this year. John Wagner, John Hudson, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump taps hostage negotiator to replace John Bolton as national security adviser," 18 Sep. 2019 The amount is contingent on the sale of the family’s international drug company, Mundipharma, which, like Purdue, has been criticized for overselling the benefits of its powerful prescription opioid painkillers and understating the risks. Washington Post, "Tentative opioid deal won’t end court battles for Purdue," 12 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of oversell

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oversell

Time Traveler for oversell

Time Traveler

The first known use of oversell was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Statistics for oversell

Last Updated

21 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Oversell.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversell. Accessed 28 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oversell

oversell

verb
How to pronounce oversell (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on oversell

What made you want to look up oversell? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

showing steady, earnest care and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!