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

transitive verb

: to sell too much or too many to
: to sell too much or too many of
: to make excessive claims for
oversell 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.
Recent Examples on the Web The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes to analyze overbought or oversold conditions. Frank Holmes, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 Electric Zoo oversold the festival’s 42,500-person capacity by 7,000 tickets on Sunday, the New York Police Department estimated. Paige Hagy, Fortune, 6 Sep. 2023 One strategy that sparks debate among frequent fliers is trying to negotiate an upgrade when a flight is oversold. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Aug. 2023 The remaining steamboats and beaches were often run by white businessmen who illegally oversold tickets, which led to severe overcrowding and outbreaks of violence. Cj Blair, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 June 2023 Both scenarios can happen when airlines intentionally oversell flights and more people show up at the gate than there are seats on the plane, forcing them to keep some number of people grounded. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 10 May 2023 But many are oversold on its benefits, Nissen said, particularly by shopping mall clinics that end up prescribing testosterone to half the men who walk in the door. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 16 June 2023 The market has fallen by about 50% year-to-date, so as oil prices begin to tank amid weak demand and robust supplies, natural gas investors may shrug that off since the natural gas market is already oversold. WSJ, 12 June 2023 And tonight’s final chapter did not disappoint, though was oversold by its executive producer, spawning a plethora of wild conspiracy theories, from a Raquel pregnancy to Lisa Vanderpump slander to a Brock/Raquel tryst to Scandoval originating pre-Rachella. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oversell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of oversell was in 1576

Dictionary Entries Near oversell

Cite this Entry

“Oversell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversell. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


over·​sell ˌō-vər-ˈsel How to pronounce oversell (audio)
oversold -ˈsōld How to pronounce oversell (audio) ; overselling
: to sell too much to or of

More from Merriam-Webster on oversell

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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