\ ˈsel How to pronounce sell (audio) \
sold\ ˈsōld How to pronounce sell (audio) \; selling

Definition of sell

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to deliver or give up in violation of duty, trust, or loyalty and especially for personal gain : betray often used with out sell out their country
2a(1) : to give up (property) to another for something of value (such as money)
(2) : to offer for sale
b : to give up in return for something else especially foolishly or dishonorably sold his birthright for a mess of pottage
c : to exact a price for sold their lives dearly
3a : to deliver into slavery for money
b : to give into the power of another sold his soul to the devil
c : to deliver the personal services of for money
4 : to dispose of or manage for profit instead of in accordance with conscience, justice, or duty sold their votes
5a : to develop a belief in the truth, value, or desirability of : gain acceptance for trying to sell a program to the Congress
b : to persuade or influence to a course of action or to the acceptance of something sell children on reading
6 : to impose on : cheat
7a : to cause or promote the sale of using television advertising to sell cereal
b : to make or attempt to make sales to
c : to influence or induce to make a purchase
8 : to achieve a sale of sold a million copies

intransitive verb

1 : to dispose of something by sale thinks now is a good time to sell
2 : to achieve a sale also : to achieve satisfactory sales hoped that the new line would sell
3 : to have a specified price
sell down the river
: to betray the faith of
sell short
1 : to make a short sale
2 : to fail to value properly : underestimate


noun (1)

Definition of sell (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a deliberate deception : hoax
2 : the act or an instance of selling
3 : something to be sold or caused to be accepted the new mystery novel was an easy sell also : someone to whom something is sold the new purchasing agent was a tough sell


noun (2)
\ ˈsel How to pronounce sell (audio) \
variants: or selle

Definition of sell (Entry 3 of 4)

: saddle


Definition of sell (Entry 4 of 4)

chiefly Scottish variant of self

Other Words from sell


sellable \ ˈse-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce sell (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for sell

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of sell in a Sentence

Verb He buys and remodels houses and then sells them at a profit. Stock prices are increasing, so now is a good time to sell. Only a few stores sell that type of equipment.

First Known Use of sell


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

Noun (1)

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sell


Middle English, from Old English sellan; akin to Old High German sellen to sell, Greek helein to take

Noun (2)

Middle English selle, from Anglo-French sele, from Latin sella — more at settle

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Time Traveler for sell

Time Traveler

The first known use of sell was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sell


\ ˈsel How to pronounce sell (audio) \
sold\ ˈsōld \; selling

Kids Definition of sell

1 : to exchange in return for money or something else of value He sold his bike to my brother.
2 : to make available for sale The store sells shoes.
3 : to be sold or priced The new product is selling well. These sell for a dollar apiece.
sell out
1 : to be bought until all are gone Tickets quickly sold out.
2 : to betray a person or duty They sold out their country.

Other Words from sell

seller noun


sold; selling

Legal Definition of sell

transitive verb

1 : to transfer ownership of by sale — compare barter, convey, give
2 : to offer for sale

intransitive verb

: to dispose of something by sale : make a sale — compare donate
sell short
: to sell something one does not own : make a short sale

Other Words from sell

seller noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sell

Nglish: Translation of sell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sell for Arabic Speakers


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