Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of sell
Meaning of sell by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /sɛl/
    • Rhymes: -ɛl
    • Homophone: cell

    Etymology 1

    From Old English sellan ( “give” ), later "give up for money", from Proto-Germanic *saljanan .


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

    1. ( transitive, intransitive ) To agree to transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money .
      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 .
    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. To trick, cheat, or manipulate someone .
      I don't know what she was selling when she pretended she liked him .
    5. ( professional wrestling, slang ) To pretend that an opponent's blows or maneuvers are causing legitimate injury; to act .
    Derived terms



    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 )

    Etymology 2

    From French selle, from Latin sella .

    Alternative form


    sell ( plural: sells )

    1. ( obsolete ) A seat or stool .
    2. ( archaic ) A saddle.


Explanation of sell by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. persuade somebody to accept something

    2. The French try to sell us their image as great lovers
    3. give up for a price or reward

    4. exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent

    5. She sells her body to survive and support her drug habit
    6. do business

    7. The brothers sell shoes
    8. deliver to an enemy by treachery

    9. be sold at a certain price or in a certain way

    10. These books sell like hot cakes
    11. be responsible for the sale of

    12. be approved of or gain acceptance

    1. the activity of persuading someone to buy

    2. it was a hard sell

    Definition of sell by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Sell ( sĕl ), n. Self. [Obs. or Scot.] B. Jonson.

    2. Sell ( sĕl ), n. A sill. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    3. Sell ( sĕl ), n. A cell; a house. [Obs.] Chaucer.

    4. Sell ( sĕl ), n. [F. selle, L. sella, akin to sedere to sit. See Sit.]
      1. A saddle for a horse. [Obs.]

      He left his lofty steed with golden self. Spenser.

      2. A throne or lofty seat. [Obs.] Fairfax.

    5. Sell ( sĕl ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sold ( sōld ); p. pr. & vb. n. Selling.] [OE. sellen, sillen, AS. sellan, syllan, to give, to deliver; akin to OS. sellian, OFries. sella, OHG. sellen, Icel. selja to hand over, to sell, Sw. sälja to sell, Dan. sælge, Goth. saljan to offer a sacrifice; all from a noun akin to E. sale. Cf. Sale.]
      1. To transfer to another for an equivalent; to give up for a valuable consideration; to dispose of in return for something, especially for money. It is the correlative of buy.

      If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor. Matt. xix. 21.

      I am changed; I'll go sell all my land. Shak.

      ☞ Sell is corellative to buy, as one party buys what the other sells. It is distinguished usually from exchange or barter, in which one commodity is given for another; whereas in selling the consideration is usually money, or its representative in current notes.

      2. To make a matter of bargain and sale of; to accept a price or reward for, as for a breach of duty, trust, or the like; to betray.

      You would have sold your king to slaughter. Shak.

      3. To impose upon; to trick; to deceive; to make a fool of; to cheat. [Slang] Dickens.

      To sell one's life dearly, to cause much loss to those who take one's life, as by killing a number of one's assailants. -- To sell ( anything ) out, to dispose of it wholly or entirely; as, he had sold out his corn, or his interest in a business.

    6. Sell ( sĕl ), v. i.
      1. To practice selling commodities.

      I will buy with you, sell with you; . . . but I will not eat with you. Shak.

      2. To be sold; as, “corn sells at a good price”.

      To sell out, to sell one's whole stock in trade or one's entire interest in a property or a business.

    7. Sell, n. An imposition; a cheat; a hoax. [Colloq.]