sell

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sellen, from Old English sellan (give), later "give up for money", from Proto-Germanic *saljaną. Compare Danish sælge, Swedish sälja, Icelandic selja.

Verb[edit]

sell (third-person singular simple present sells, present participle selling, simple past and past participle sold)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.
    • Bible, Matthew xix. 21
      If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848: 
      No sooner has a [synthetic] drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one. These “legal highs” are sold for the few months it takes the authorities to identify and ban them, and then the cycle begins again.
    I'll sell you all three for a hundred dollars.   Sorry, I'm not prepared to sell.
  2. (ergative) To be sold.
    This old stock will never sell.   The corn sold for a good price.
  3. To promote a particular viewpoint.
    My boss is very old-fashioned and I'm having a lot of trouble selling the idea of working at home occasionally.
  4. (slang) To trick, cheat, or manipulate someone.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Dickens to this entry?)
    • 2011 January 12, Saj Chowdhury, “Liverpool 2-1 Liverpool”, BBC:
      Raul Meireles was the victim of the home side's hustling on this occasion giving the ball away to the impressive David Vaughan who slipped in Taylor-Fletcher. The striker sold Daniel Agger with the best dummy of the night before placing his shot past keeper Pepe Reina.
  5. (professional wrestling, slang) To pretend that an opponent's blows or maneuvers are causing legitimate injury; to act.
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Quotations[edit]

  • To trick, or cheat someone.
  • (Can we date this quote?) Mark Twain, chapter 23, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
    House was jammed again that night, and we sold this crowd the same way.

Noun[edit]

sell (plural sells)

  1. An act of selling.
    This is going to be a tough sell.
  2. An easy task.
    • 1922: What a sell for Lena! - Katherine Mansfield, The Doll's House (Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics paperback 2002, 354)
  3. (colloquial, dated) An imposition, a cheat; a hoax.

Etymology 2[edit]

From French selle, from Latin sella.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

sell (plural sells)

  1. (obsolete) A seat or stool.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Fairfax to this entry?)
  2. (archaic) A saddle.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.ii:
      turning to that place, in which whyleare / He left his loftie steed with golden sell, / And goodly gorgeous barbes, him found not theare [...].

Anagrams[edit]


Breton[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

sell m

  1. look, glance

Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English sellan.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

tae sell (third-person singular simple present sells, present participle sellin, simple past sellt or sauld, past participle sellt or sauld)

  1. To sell.