sell·​out | \ ˈsel-ˌau̇t How to pronounce sellout (audio) \

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 backlash was swift and savage: Phair was seen as a desperate sellout whose short skirts were unbecoming for a mother in her mid-30s. Allison Stewart,, "Liz Phair, still living in 'Guyville' 25 years later," 27 Apr. 2018 Only three of 15 home games were listed as a sellout in 12,414-seat Viejas Arena, although only one was below 10,000 (9,821 against Bradley) and 12 were above 11,000. Mark Zeigler,, "SDSU men's basketball picked to join selective Jordan Brand family," 16 Apr. 2018 Box office: The show recouped its $12-million investment in less than eight months, producers said, and a year after opening, ticket revenue still averages 95% of its potential gross, calculated as a full-price sellout. Barbara Isenberg,, "Why Broadway's hottest theater just might be on the West Coast," 12 Apr. 2018 Critics, particularly senior Catholic figures in Hong Kong, see it as catastrophic sellout that would put party cadres in charge of communities that have long fought to worship without government control. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, "A Catholic bishop and his rural Chinese parish worry about a deal between Beijing and the Vatican," 11 Mar. 2018 An alliance of players sympathetic to the protests split into factions — one side seeing the owners’ offer as a sign of progress, the other seeing the offer as a bribe, and acceptance of the money as a sellout of the cause. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Forgettable anniversary for Colin Kaepernick," 3 Mar. 2018 The Pels, picked by virtually no one outside New Orleans city limits to win this series, tattooed Portland 119-102 on Thursday night (April 19) in front of a sellout Smoothie King Center of 18,551 to take a 3-0 series lead. Ron Higgins,, "It just gets better and better for the Pelicans and worse and worse for the Trail Blazers," 19 Apr. 2018 Also on the 22-artist Mo Pop bill are rapper Vince Staples, Boston neo-grunge duo Highly Suspect and the L.A. hip-hop-R&B collective Brockhampton, on the heels of the group's two-night sellout last month at the Majestic Theatre. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Mo Pop Festival reveals 2018 lineup: Rare Bon Iver set, the National, St. Vincent," 7 Mar. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It, like most of the tiers currently offered, are sold out. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Internet rallies around VoiceoverPete after he gets booted from Fiverr," 9 Nov. 2018 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 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

10 Mar 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

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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