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

Friday: Before the seventh BB&T Ballpark sellout of the season (10,589), the Knights lost 12-2 to Durham. Steve Lyttle, charlotteobserver, "Knights announce added fireworks, then provide some in ninth inning on Sunday | Charlotte Observer," 13 May 2018 Now, there were other games that generated big numbers for games in Austin and College Station, but the trend is the trend: These large palaces for football that so many universities built are now too big to sellout, unless the game is premier. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "TCU selling fans beer while locking the door behind them | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 30 Apr. 2018 The team had to suddenly prepare for a mid-week sellout (from tickets to concessions), and the team immediately reached out to Majestic in Pennsylvania to start manufacturing Sabathia jerseys. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thirteen things you may have forgotten about Milwaukee's acquisition of CC Sabathia 10 years ago," 6 July 2018 The war, from my perspective, was some kind of stubborn mistake Johnson made or a sellout to the Pentagon. Michael Carey, Anchorage Daily News, "Memories of ’68 reverberate 50 years on," 23 Jan. 2018 Depending on one’s point of view, this was either a sellout to Wall Street by a president who had railed against Goldman during the campaign, or a welcome check on some of Mr. Trump’s more radical tendencies. James B. Stewart, New York Times, "One Goldman Takeover That Failed: The Trump White House," 18 Jan. 2018 During the regular season, the NBA set a new all-time record for total attendance at 22,124,559 and sellouts at 741. Jenna West,, "Report: Game 1 of the NBA Finals Is Not Sold Out," 31 May 2018 None of these seismic changes seemed more baffling than last spring’s abrupt sellout of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar — a longtime ally where the U.S. Air Force Central Command and its 10,000 American troops are now based. Will Bunch,, "How the Trump family sold U.S. foreign policy to the highest bidder | Will Bunch," 20 May 2018 The Knights had their sixth sellout of the season – a crowd of 10,702 for a late-morning game. Steve Lyttle, charlotteobserver, "‘Very classy.’ … Charlotte Knights rank No. 1 in something all their fans can enjoy. | Charlotte Observer," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many of the gourmet cupcakes sold out, some as quickly as 30 minutes into the 7th Annual Cupcake Extravaganza at Rockville High School on April 26. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "RHS Cupcake Extravaganza A Big Hit," 15 May 2018 In a few hours, the 60,000 available tickets sold out. Anne Nickoloff,, "Talk It Out: Is 'Hamilton' overhyped?," 8 May 2018 The Yard Goats have been routinely selling out games, meanwhile, filling the park to capacity three games in a row, and are averaging 5,695 spectators through 48 home games. Dom Amore,, "Top Prospects, Hall-Of-Famers' Sons, And Tim Tebow: Highlights From The First Half Of The Yard Goats' Season," 8 July 2018 Markle's Brandon Maxwell #lewk was briefly available for purchase on Bergdorf Goodman's website, but has since sold out. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "It Sure Looks Like the Queen Inspired Meghan Markle's Latest Outfit Choice," 5 July 2018 Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was wall-to-wall Swifties Saturday night, not sold out but close. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Taylor Swift goes big with her bad reputation at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium," 1 July 2018 And its popularity in Milwaukee hasn’t waned — the band sold out its Friday show at the Rave’s 3,500-person-capacity Eagles Ballroom several weeks in advance. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Incubus crushes sweltering, sold-out show at Milwaukee's Eagles Ballroom," 14 July 2018 Towards the end of the Hogan run, the shows weren’t always selling out. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: AXS TV’s Mark Cuban Hopes for More Live NJPW Specials," 5 July 2018 The store’s recent supply sold out over the weekend, leaving Staley scrambling to get more inventory from her distributor before the holiday. Vikki Ortiz,, "To calm dogs spooked by fireworks, pet owners are using treats made from marijuana plants," 3 July 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

20 Oct 2018

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

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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).


noxious or harmful

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