It's either that or sell out, and I don't want to sell—Oh, I don't!

He was willing to sell out his practice at the end of that time.

Let it go, Duke; I've made up my mind to sell out and leave.

But the bankers do not choose to sell out the bonds and close the deal.

Surely we could sell out soon, and I would have all the money I wanted.

"And you'll be looking for me to sell out your interests at my first opportunity," said Parker.

"I have told my friends you would like to sell out the business," said Miles.

She has agreed to sell out her country, the land she was born in, for hire.

Your crowd is going to sell out to the Paramount—it's your plot.

She did not exactly kill the golden goose, but began to sell out.


Old English sellan "to give, furnish, supply, lend; surrender, give up; deliver to; promise," from Proto-Germanic *saljan "offer up, deliver" (cf. Old Norse selja "to hand over, deliver, sell;" Old Frisian sella, Old High German sellen "to give, hand over, sell;" Gothic saljan "to offer a sacrifice"), ultimately from PIE root *sel- (3) "to take, grasp."

Meaning "to give up for money" had emerged by c.1000, but in Chaucer selle still can mean "to give." Students of Old English learn early that the word that looks like sell usually means "give." An Old English word for "to sell" was bebycgan, from bycgan "to buy."

Slang meaning "to swindle" is from 1590s. The noun phrase hard sell is recorded from 1952. To sell one's soul is from c.1570. Sell-by date is from 1972. To sell like hot cakes is from 1839. Selling-point attested from 1959.

To sell (someone) down the river is first recorded 1927, but probably from or with recollection of slavery days, on notion of sale from the Upper South to the cotton plantations of the Deep South (attested in this literal sense since 1851).


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verbterminate business operations
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.