1an act of selling or attempting to sell something:every other television commercial is a sell for Australian lager
2British a disappointment, typically one arising from being deceived as to the merits of something:actually, Hawaii’s a bit of a sell—not a patch on Corfu
1give or hand over (something) in exchange for money:they had sold the carthe family business had been sold off [with two objects]:I was trying to sell him my butterfly collection
have a stock of (something) available for sale:the store sells hi-fis, TVs, videos, and other electrical goods
[no object] be purchased in specified amounts or for a specified price:the album sold 6 million copies in the United Statesthis magazine of yours won’t sellthese antiques of the future sell for about £375
[no object] (sell out) sell all of one’s stock of something:they had nearly sold out of the initial run of 75,000 copies
[no object] (sell out) be all sold:it was clear that the performances would not sell out
[no object] (sell through) (of a product) be purchased by a customer from a retail outlet.
[no object] (sell up) British sell all of one’s property, possessions, or assets:Ernest sold up and retired
(sell oneself) have sex in exchange for money:if she was going to sell herself then it would be as well not to come too cheap
[no object] (sell out) abandon one’s principles for reasons of expedience:the prime minister has come under fire for selling out to the United States
(sell someone out) betray someone for one’s own benefit:the clansmen became tenants and the chiefs sold them out
archaic offer (something) dishonourably for money or other reward:do not your lawyers sell all their practice, as your priests their prayers?
2persuade someone of the merits of:he sold the idea of making a film about Tchaikovskyhe just won’t sell himself
(sell someone on) cause someone to become enthusiastic about:I’m just not sold on the idea
3 archaic trick or deceive (someone):what we want is to go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell the rest of the town