over·​sell | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsel How to pronounce oversell (audio) \
oversold\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈsōld How to pronounce oversell (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 Well-aware of the furor over early announcements for coronavirus therapies, the duo do not want to oversell their findings and acknowledge the nanobody, called Aeronab 6, needs to be tested in clinical trials. Usha Lee Mcfarling, STAT, "Inspired by llamas’ unique antibodies, scientists create a potent anti-coronavirus molecule," 11 Aug. 2020 If Bordewich oversells the legacy of the Radicals in Congress, his more fundamental misapprehension lies elsewhere: His version of events shortchanges the greatness that humanists of all stripes—not only historians—have found in Lincoln. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 Trump’s approach has frequently confounded the efforts of the rest of the team by overselling breakthroughs that have to be walked back quietly by his experts. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "'What do we have to lose?': Hope and science vie for dominance at White House coronavirus briefings," 21 Mar. 2020 Some general cost-cutting measures could save fuel as a secondary effect, like overselling flights in order to fly fewer, but fuller, airplanes each day. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What Caused the Fastest New York to London Subsonic Flight Ever," 10 Feb. 2020 Danticat never oversells — her spare, clean prose is no less impactful. Renée Graham, BostonGlobe.com, "People are disappointing; ‘Everything Inside’ is not," 29 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for oversell

Time Traveler

The first known use of oversell was in 1576

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Statistics for oversell

Cite this Entry

“Oversell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversell. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on oversell

Britannica English: Translation of oversell for Arabic Speakers

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