: the act of selling
specifically : the transfer of ownership of and title to property from one person to another for a price
: opportunity of selling or being sold : demand
: distribution by selling
: public disposal to the highest bidder : auction
: a selling of goods at bargain prices
sales plural
: operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods or services
vice president in charge of sales
: gross receipts
for sale
: available for purchase
on sale
: for sale
: available for purchase at a reduced price

Examples of sale in a Sentence

They profited from the sale of the house. Sales are up by $6,000 this month. The company made over one million dollars in sales this quarter. The store is having a spring sale. Everything in the store will be 15 percent off during the sale. There is a sale on flights between New York and Paris. He has a job in sales. The department is in charge of sales and marketing.
Recent Examples on the Web Alvin Takamori, a designer running the cash register for the plant sale, remembers Sakuraya as a special treat eaten with family. Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2024 While the reigning champion Boston Celtics potentially stand as an outlier, having extended Jayson Tatum and Derrick White Jr. this offseason, sustainability remains in question to the point of those Celtics being put up for sale immediately after their Finals success. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 6 July 2024 The Grapevine went up for sale in 1986 and was bought by siblings John and Nancy Cooper Maier; Nancy served as editor and John as publisher., 6 July 2024 Included in Amazon’s Fourth of July weekend deals, the air purifier is currently on sale for $70 and comes down to a shocking $45 after an additional $25-off coupon and 5% promo code are applied. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for sale 

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

Word History


Middle English, from Old English sala; akin to Old High German sala transfer, Old English sellan to sell — more at sell

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sale was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near sale

Cite this Entry

“Sale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the act of selling
especially : the exchange of property for a price
: a selling of goods at lower than usual prices
: the business of selling
: total amounts of money received

Legal Definition


: the transfer of title to property from one party to another for a price
also : the contract of such a transaction see also short entry 1 sense 3 compare barter, donation, exchange, gift
absolute sale
: a sale that takes place without conditions and with title simply passing to the buyer upon payment of the price compare conditional sale in this entry
bulk sale
: a sale not in the ordinary course of the seller's business of more than half of the seller's inventory

called also bulk transfer

Note: Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code governs bulk sales. Under section 6-102(c), in order for a sale to be considered a bulk sale, the buyer (or an auctioneer or liquidator if the sale is an auction) must have been given notice or been able upon reasonable inquiry to have had notice that the seller will not afterward continue to operate the same or a similar kind of business.

cash sale
: a sale in which payment must be made in cash

Note: Under U.C.C. section 2-310, payment must be made in cash at the time and place that the buyer receives the goods unless there is a prior agreement between the parties for a sale on credit.

conditional sale
: a sale that is complete only when one or more conditions are met
specifically : a sale in which the seller extends credit to the buyer to purchase the item and takes a security interest in the item with the buyer receiving title when the debt has been fully paid off compare absolute sale in this entry
execution sale
: a sale carried out to execute a judgment under authority of a judicial officer (as a court clerk) but not by court order
forced sale
: a sale of property ordered by a court in order to satisfy a creditor's judgment against a debtor
foreclosure sale
: a sale of property upon default of a mortgage to satisfy the debt
judicial sale
: a sale of property conducted by an authorized official by order of a court : forced sale in this entry
private sale
: an often unadvertised sale of property that is not open to the general public and does not take place at a set time or place
public sale
: a sale (as an auction) that is publicly advertised and that takes place at a location open to the public
sale in gross
: a sale of a tract of land that is not made with a guarantee as to the exact amount of land involved
also : the sale of an undivided property (as in execution of a judgment)
sale on approval
: a conditional sale whose completion depends on acceptance of the goods by a buyer (as a consumer) receiving them primarily for use with the option to return them if they do not meet his or her approval even though they conform to contract
sale or return
: a conditional sale whose completion depends on acceptance of the goods by a buyer (as a merchant) receiving them primarily for resale with the option to return them if they are not resold even though they conform to contract
sheriff's sale
: a forced sale of property by a sheriff or deputy sheriff
short sale
: a sale of securities or commodities that the seller does not possess or has not contracted for at the time of the sale

Note: The purpose of a short sale is to profit from an anticipated drop in the price of a security or commodity. Typically, an investor directs a broker to borrow a quantity of stocks and to sell them at the current price. If the price drops, the investor then repurchases an equal quantity at the lower price, returns the borrowed stocks, and retains the difference in price as profit. If the price rises instead of falling, the investor may choose or be compelled to repurchase the stocks at a higher price and to accept a loss.

: the sale of a mortgaged property in which the property owner receives for the sale less than the amount owing on the mortgage loan and the lender agrees to accept the amount received as payment in full of the mortgage loan

Note: Short sales are sometimes used as an alternative to foreclosure.

tax sale
: a forced sale of property resulting from nonpayment of taxes by the owner compare tax lien at lien
: a contract for selling or disposing of a security or an interest in a security for value see also short entry 1 sense 2b, wash sale
: the transfer of a controlled substance to another person for money or other consideration
: a selling of goods at lower than usual prices
: operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods and services
vice-president of sales
: gross receipts
: income calculated under the accrual basis of accounting

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Sa·​lé sa-ˈlā How to pronounce Salé (audio)
variants or chiefly formerly Sallee or Arabic Sla
city and port at the mouth of a river in northwestern Morocco; a northern suburb of Rabat area population 849,000

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