sell·​out | \ ˈsel-ˌau̇t \

Definition of sellout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of selling out
2 : something sold out especially : something (such as a concert or contest) for which all tickets are sold
3 : one who sells out

sell out


Definition of sell out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to sell the goods of (a debtor) in order to satisfy creditors
2 : to sell security or commodity holdings of usually to satisfy an uncovered margin
3a : to sell all the available tickets for sold out the concert
b : to sell all of the merchandise was quickly sold out

intransitive verb

1 : to dispose of one's goods by sale especially : to sell one's business
2 : to betray one's cause or associates especially for personal gain
3 : to be or achieve a sellout

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Examples of sellout in a Sentence


The concert was a sellout. The union sees the deal as a sellout. Angry fans called him a sellout when he started appearing in television commercials.


the band sold out its faithful followers, abandoning its edgy style for a more commercial sound
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The bar has risen in Rogers Park, where expectations will be great after the Ramblers put together a 32-6 season that included their first Missouri Valley Conference championship, league tournament title and first Gentile Arena sellout since 2003. Shannon Ryan,, "Expectations rise for Loyola next season," 1 Apr. 2018 While this was far from a sellout in Staples Center, the crowd was filled with Maize and Blue. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan shows Final Four potential in Sweet 16 smackdown of Texas A&M," 22 Mar. 2018 The Portland Timbers—with their eight-year streak of home sellouts—face second-year Atlanta United, already the pre-eminent MLS club in attendance with a league record of more than 53,000 a game. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Major League Soccer Final Showcases Real Growth, Fake Grass," 7 Dec. 2018 From there unfurls the classic narrative of the big-time picket-line-crossing sellout, struggling with his own role as a collaborator with evil rich guys as his old comrades soldier on. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Dystopian Send-Up of Dystopias," 13 July 2018 Thursday’s crowd of 32,151 was larger than usual but well short of a sellout, continuing a pattern from last season, when Miami did not have a single full house. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Anthony Rizzo's home run an 'out-of-body experience' on emotional Opening Day," 29 Mar. 2018 Viejas, while just shy of a sellout Friday, was filled Sunday. Nick Canepa,, "As a host for hoops, San Diego has proven to be a winner," 18 Mar. 2018 The crowd of 61,946 fell so far short of a sellout that fans were moved toward the middle to create a full look for TV viewers. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Super Bowl history game-by-game, from Packers to Patriots | Miami Herald," 30 Jan. 2018 The Frogs, playing in front of a second consecutive sellout, stumbled out of the gate. Carlos Mendez, star-telegram, "Kansas keeps TCU looking for that big win at Schollmaier Arena," 6 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Marking her first foray into athletic-wear, the first drop of Victoria Beckham x Reebok features sleek sports bras, tracksuits, and a turtleneck-esque sweatshirt that (sadly) sold out in less than 12 hours. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria Beckham Was Her Own Muse for Her Reebok Collection," 24 Jan. 2019 And back to crying about the fact that the dress is well and truly sold out everywhere on the planet? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Thigh-High Slit Reformation Dress Doesn't Actually Defy Royal Protocol," 22 Oct. 2018 The Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary sold out at the Florida Film Festival in April. Hal Boedeker,, "'RBG': Ruth Bader Ginsburg film coming to Enzian," 1 May 2018 That would mean that in future trade deals between the EU and other countries, the U.K. would be at risk of having its interests sold out by EU negotiators who aren’t too concerned about defending Britain. Emma Ross-thomas,, "Brexit Bulletin: A Concession and a Nudge," 25 Apr. 2018 Here are all the cutest pieces from Olivia's collection that aren't sold out (yet). Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Your Fave Blogger Olivia Culpo Just Dropped a Clothing Line With Express and It's Going to Sell Out FAST," 16 Jan. 2019 Harden’s teammates are in position to get layups and 3-pointers when other teams sell out to stop him. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "James Harden Is the Outlier of the NBA," 9 Jan. 2019 The pièce de résistance—and likely the first to sell out—of the collection are the heattech leggings. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alexander Wang x Uniqlo Is Here With Your New Favorite Leggings," 9 Nov. 2018 These are all best-sellers, too—and some of them are selling out fast, so get them before everyone else does. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "11 Best-Selling Acne Products On Sale at Walmart Right Now," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sellout.' 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 sellout


1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1796, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for sellout

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sellout

The first known use of sellout was in 1796

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More Definitions for sellout



English Language Learners Definition of sellout

: a game, concert, etc., for which all seats are sold
: an occurrence in which you do something that does not agree with your beliefs, values, etc., especially in order to make money
: someone who does something that does not agree with that person's beliefs or values especially in order to make money

More from Merriam-Webster on sellout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sellout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sellout

Comments on sellout

What made you want to look up sellout? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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