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Sell appears in the following tongue twisters:

  • Silly shoe-fly pie fans sell chilly shoe-fly pie pans.
  • They hatch fish at the state fish hatchery and sell hatched fish to the fish stick factory.
    (by Kevin Brown)
  • Sheila is selling her shop at the seashore
    For shops at the seashore are so sure to lose
    And she’s not so sure of what she should be selling
    Should Sheila sell seashells or should she sell shoes
    (Danny Kaye song, arround 1930)
View more tongue twisters!

Sell appears in many palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • Must sell at tallest sum.
  • Sell exuded art; trade duxelles.
  • Jarred arts sell less, Trader Raj!
View more palindromes!

The word sell is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Flare and light rays in the souk of Marrakech Morocco where people sell typical and traditional home made commodities moving forward
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Definition of the noun sell

What does sell mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: sells

  1. the activity of persuading someone to buy
    • example: it was a hard sell
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic word: sale = the general activity of selling

Alternative definition of the noun sell


  1. An act of selling.
  2. An easy task.
  3. [obsolete] A seat or stool.
  4. [archaic] A saddle.

Definition of the verb sell

What does sell mean as a doing word?

Sell is one of the top 100 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections:

simple pastpast participlepresent participlethird-person singular

  1. exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
    • examples: She sells her body to survive and support her drug habit | They sell the food to the people | They sell the people the food
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Theme]They lent me a bicycle
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Recipient] [Theme] at / for / on [Asset]I leased him the car for $250 a month
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]I leased my house (to somebody)
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] for / at [Asset]He leased the car for $200 a week
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] to [Recipient]Brown presented a plaque to Jones | They lent a bicycle to me | We contributed our paycheck to her
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] to [Recipient] at / for / on [Asset]I leased the car to my friend for $5 a month
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient]He donated directly to JSP members | The bank lent to fewer customers

      Verbs of Change of Possession (with the same syntax): give, hock, lease, pawn, rent.

    • domain: commerce / commercialism / mercantilism
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • antonym: buy
    • more generic words: change / exchange / interchange = give to, and receive from, one another
    • more specific terms:
      • clear = sell
      • negociate = sell or discount
      • scalp = sell illegally, as on the black market
      • bootleg = sell illicit products such as drugs or alcohol
      • sell short = sell securities or commodities or foreign currency that is not actually owned by the seller, who hopes to cover (buy back) the sold items at a lower price and thus to earn a profit
      • remainder = sell cheaply as remainders
      • resell = sell (something) again after having bought it
      • syndicate = sell articles, television programs, or photos to several publications or independent broadcasting stations
      • deaccession = sell (art works) from a collection, especially in order to raise money for the purchase of other art works
      • sell off = get rid of by selling, usually at reduced prices
      • foist off / palm off / fob off = sell as genuine, sell with the intention to deceive
      • realise / realize = convert into cash
      • auction off / auctioneer / auction = sell at an auction
      • retail = sell on the retail market
      • wholesale = sell in large quantities
      • sacrifice = sell at a loss
      • underprice / dump = sell at artificially low prices
      • undersell / undercut = sell cheaper than one's competition
      • dispose = give, sell, or transfer to another
      • move = dispose of by selling
      • prostitute = sell one's body
    • entailment: give = transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody
  2. be sold at a certain price or in a certain way
    • examples: These books sell like hot cakes | These cars won't sell
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: be = have the quality of being
    • more specific words:
      • retail = be sold at the retail level
      • trade = be traded at a certain price or under certain conditions
  3. persuade somebody to accept something
    • examples: The French try to sell us their image as great lovers | They won't sell the story
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic word: persuade = cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action
  4. do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood
  5. give up for a price or reward
  6. be approved of or gain acceptance
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: be = have the quality of being
  7. be responsible for the sale of
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: be = have the quality of being
  8. deliver to an enemy by treachery


Sell a.k.a. Sell, West Virginia: Sell is an unincorporated community in Preston County, West Virginia.


  1. SELL is a French organisation that promotes the interests of video game developers. The group mainly distributes information about video game professionals to authorities and consumers. Created in 1995, the group is chaired by Philippe Sauze from Electronic Arts France. The general delegate is Jean Claude Larue.
  2. Sell a.k.a. L-selectin, also known as CD62L, is a cell adhesion molecule found on lymphocytes and the preimplantation embryo. It belongs to the selectin family of proteins, which recognize sialylated carbohydrate groups. It is cleaved by ADAM17.
  3. Sell a.k.a. selectin L (lymphocyte adhesion molecule 1) is a gene.
    • also known as leukocyte adhesion molecule-1, selectin L, lymph node homing receptor, lymphocyte adhesion molecule 1, Leu-8 antigen

Phrases with Sell

Phrases starting with the word Sell:

  1. Sell on
  2. sell up
  3. sell off
  4. sell out
  5. Sell Down
  6. sell short
  7. sell-by date
  8. Sell-through
  9. Sell a Bargain
  10. Sell One's Soul
  11. sell someone out

Phrases ending with the word Sell:

  1. to sell
  2. Mis-Sell
  3. Cold Sell
  4. hard sell
  5. soft sell
  6. Cross-Sell

Other phrases containing the word Sell:

  1. To Sell on
  2. to sell out
  3. to sell short

View more phrases with the word Sell in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Sell

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and the Law (2014)

by Eyal Zamir, Doron Teichman

A person desiring to sell is a person who intends to participate in the market and who believes that good substitutes exist for...

Google previewInternational Financial Reporting Standards (2011)

A Practical Guide by Hennie van Greuning, Darrel Scott, Simonet Terblanche

Fair value less costs to sell is the amount obtainable from the sale of an asset or a cash-generating unit in an arm's-length transaction between knowledgeable, willing parties less the costs of disposal. 26.3.5 If either the net selling price ...

Google previewUsing Other People's Money (2014)

How to invest in property by Vicki Wusche

Buying to sell is an attractive strategy especially now with media promises of property price rises. Flipping enables you...

Google previewThe Inner Game of Selling (2011)

Mastering the Hidden Forces that Determine Your Success by Ron Willingham

The bottom line is, your ability to sell is an issue of your ...

Google previewHighway Engineering

Nature of contract : A sale is an executed contract, whereas an agreement to sell is an executory contract. 0>) Transfer of ownership of property : In a sale, property in goods passes ...

Google previewEssentials of Contract Law (2000)

by Phyllis Frey, Martin Frey

The consideration for the of- feror's promise to sell is the offeree's "paying $5,000. " The offerer is not asking the...

Google previewNo Reason for Goodbyes (2011)

Messages from Beyond Life by Chassie West

But an even harder sell is the fact that we are all born with psychic abilities, most of them dormant or squashed by the time we enter elementary school. Evidence of these abilities are routinely dismissed as childhood fantasies or overactive ...

Google previewHidden in Plain Sight (2007)

How to Find and Execute Your Company's Next Big Growth Strategy by Erich Joachimsthaler

As a Harley executive was quoted as saying in Results-Based Leadership, “What we sell is the ability of a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride ...

Google previewSells' Dictionary of the World's Press (1886)

SELL, in common with many other large business firms, who are obliged to frequently use the telegraph, very shortly after the introduction of the sixpenny rate for messages, felt the absolute necessity of possessing a concise ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement (2004)

by John E. Findling, Kimberly D. Pelle

Sell. THE. GAMES. OF. THE. TWENTY-EIGHTH. OLYMPIAD. Athens last hosted an Olympic Games in 1896. The city was chosen as the first host of the modern Games, in deference to Greece as the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Sell

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Usage statistics about sell

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb sell:

spoken English52.58%written English47.42% conversational speech51.7%task-oriented speech48.3% imaginative writing32.09%informational writing67.91%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb sell:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb sell and its most common antonym:


Photos about Sell

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Trader showing smartphone screen with trading interface dashboard with candlestick chart, quotes and buy sell buttons, stock exchange and fintech conceptSmall photo of The man sells grilled egg at footpath. Hawker/ peddler is one of career that you can see for general in any other places. It's a traditional sell style. More...

Videos about Sell

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View more videos about Sell on, to Sell, Sell Out, Cold Sell, Hard Sell, Sell Down, Soft sell, Buy and Sell, Sell Wolf Tickets, and Sell Someone a Bill of Goods.

See also the pronunciation examples of Sell!

Quotes about Sell

When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. (Christopher Morley)
more quotes about sell...

Scrabble value of S1E1L1L1

The value of this 4-letter word is 4 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of SELL

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Sell!

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