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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

His superior passing vision, ambidextrous touch, explosiveness and change of direction are hard to oversell. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2019 NBA Draft Big Board 7.0: Top 100 Prospect Rankings," 5 June 2019 That could attract cost-conscious investors, such as Mr. Lambert, who believe the smaller companies have been oversold in recent weeks. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Small-Cap Stocks Take On New Shine as Markets Slump," 8 Jan. 2019 Many experts are wary that others are overselling their field, and dooming it when the hype runs out. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "The case for taking AI seriously as a threat to humanity," 21 Dec. 2018 While there will be excitement in 2019 around the IPOs of Uber and Lyft, neither will be overselling its future self-driving taxi services. David Pierce, WSJ, "Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 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

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

8 Jun 2019

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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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behavior toward others

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