Definition of sale in English:



  • 1mass noun The exchange of a commodity for money; the action of selling something.

    ‘we withdrew it from sale’
    count noun ‘the sale has fallen through’
    • ‘It is a condition of sale that tickets are not sold on for more than their face value.’
    • ‘But the conditions of sale are quite clear that the tickets cannot be resold.’
    • ‘Money from each book sale will go to the Alice Rose Trust which supports sick children.’
    • ‘I consider that it is important to achieve a sale quickly, as prices will probably be affected by the glut of sales.’
    • ‘Mr Noonan is hopeful that the building will generate a large sum of money from its sale.’
    • ‘Some money from every sale goes towards the efforts of the Band Aid Trust in Africa.’
    • ‘In sale and leaseback, capital is freed up to put into the main activities.’
    • ‘The money raised from its sale will be used to fund development projects.’
    • ‘The Gazette helped produce the calendar and all the money from its sale will go directly into the Lydia appeal fund.’
    • ‘The London auction house set to sell the painting said it had withdrawn the picture from sale immediately.’
    • ‘Mr Witham said the association will use the money from the property sale to buy a smaller, more modern property.’
    • ‘The sale marked the first time a Chinese bank has sold assets that backed loans.’
    • ‘When the holding of an auction was approved and the place and time were agreed upon, the notary drew up the conditions of sale.’
    • ‘The land sale provided enough money to enable the council not only to buy a site suitable for the new school but also pay for its construction.’
    • ‘Privatization without flotation on the stock market means either a management buy-out or sale by tender.’
    • ‘We also expect sale and leaseback to prove popular as companies seek to realise maximum value from their assets.’
    • ‘In the case of the Archer family, the farmer needs all the money from the land sale to keep the farm going.’
    • ‘Check the terms and conditions of sale to ensure that your copyright is not infringed in any way.’
    • ‘Money from the share sale will be used to pay off debt and fund future productions.’
    • ‘Amongst the conditions of sale is proof by prospective purchasers of the availability of funds.’
    selling, vending, disposal
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    1. 1.1sales A quantity or amount sold.
      ‘price cuts failed to boost sales’
      • ‘Profits in Spain and Poland were reduced by price cuts, and sales also slipped in Belgium and Ukraine.’
      • ‘Imagined relationships are a part of the TV shopping channel experience that increases sales.’
      • ‘The overall annual quantity of our beef sales to Egypt when translated into live cattle equivalent amounts to 450,000 animals.’
      • ‘Combine quick load times with great products as well as great prices and your sales will start to sky rocket.’
      • ‘It seems that this year's photography sales have started pushing prices into areas once traditionally associated with paintings or sculpture.’
      • ‘Conflicting evidence suggests that swapping music either increases or reduces CD sales.’
      • ‘Marks and Spencer reported its first increase in quarterly clothing sales for nearly three years with sales in Irish shops still on the rise.’
      • ‘The fear is that corporate profits have been boosted by cost cutting, not increased sales and prices from a revival of the economy.’
      • ‘While Nan Fung achieved solid sales by cutting prices, market sources said other developers were unlikely to follow suit.’
      • ‘But when prices fall, sales generally increase, offsetting some of the decrease in revenue.’
      • ‘If it is priced wisely, Octavia sales next year should increase even further.’
      • ‘All divisions reported increased sales and either reduced losses or improved earnings.’
      • ‘Margiotta said figures for the current year would show increases and that sales at its new shop in Dundas Street were above target.’
      • ‘The fall of the dollar has further weakened the company because the value of its US sales were reduced when converted back to euro.’
      • ‘However, expectations are extremely high for the year ahead such that three of four repair shops are expecting sales to increase.’
      • ‘The company says that on an annualised basis it will reduce sales and marketing costs by £15 million a year.’
      • ‘Larger music companies say they'll reduce prices on the coolest CDs in an effort to boost sales and reduce piracy.’
      • ‘Over a period of time, the increase in sales starts to slow down and this is known as the maturity stage.’
      • ‘The shop targets to achieve sales worth Rs.23 crores during the current financial year.’
      • ‘A survey released by the CBI has revealed that traders nationally are facing a slower festive period with sales not as high as last year.’
    2. 1.2sales The activity or business of selling products.
      ‘director of sales and marketing’
      • ‘Each of these groups has its own business manager, sales manager and product development manager.’
      • ‘The retail sales report can be compared to the sales activity of a publicly traded company.’
      • ‘We play but a support role in the most important aspect of the promotional products business: sales.’
  • 2A period during which a shop or dealer sells goods at reduced prices.

    ‘the January sales got under way this week’
    • ‘The average price recorded from the time the sales started in the period under review was $1.89 per kilogramme.’
    • ‘Then (this is one from earlier today) I might be asked to choose a date for a chain of shops to start their sales.’
    • ‘There are long, lingering closing down sales at the two rental shops nearest to my flat, and the local Blockbuster is emptier every time I go there.’
    deal, transaction, bargain, disposal
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    1. 2.1 A public or charitable event at which goods are sold or auctioned.
      ‘a bric-a-brac sale will be held at St Cuthbert's Church Centre’
      • ‘Half of the total has been collected from auctions, sales, coffee mornings and other events at the church in Otley Road.’
      • ‘KIND-hearted youngsters are organising a bring and buy sale to raise money.’
      • ‘Fundraising events included a giant sale at Marshfield, lunches, jumble sales and coffee mornings.’
      • ‘She regularly holds sales and other fundraising events and has raised thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘The next fundraising event is an indoor sale to be held at Melksham Labour Club on February 22.’
      fete, fair, jumble sale, bring-and-buy sale, car boot sale, carnival
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  • (up) for sale

    • Offered for purchase; to be bought.

      ‘cars for sale at reasonable prices’
      • ‘The sofas are being offered for sale in supermarket car parks and on motorway service stations.’
      • ‘Christie's said it could be the most important item of football history to be offered for sale.’
      • ‘Mr Bazeley's cards and prints are still being offered for sale in aid of the hospital.’
      • ‘What are the pros and cons of offering a property both for sale and rent at the same time?’
      • ‘Homemade gifts will also be for sale and offer a great way to begin holiday shopping.’
      • ‘As his ship approached land it was met by a fishing-boat offering fresh prawns for sale.’
      • ‘There are hundreds of thousands of items for sale from clocks to cars and paintings to pottery.’
      • ‘A popular move included forcing local authorities to offer council houses for sale.’
      • ‘With no shortage of cars for sale, the only difficulty you will have is deciding how much you want to spend.’
      • ‘He wants to recover artefacts from the ship, which will be donated to museums or offered for sale.’
      on the market, on sale, on offer, available for purchase, able to be bought, able to be purchased, purchasable, obtainable, in the shops
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  • on sale

    • 1Offered for purchase.

      ‘the November issue is on sale now’
      • ‘The CD went on sale to parents and friends on Friday and has already sold 50 copies.’
      • ‘Videos of the night are still on sale and can be purchased by contacting Betty Sweeney.’
      • ‘Admission is only 5 euros and tickets are on sale locally or can be had on the night.’
      • ‘The full version of this article can be seen in the December issue of Tatler, on sale this week’
      • ‘The evening will include a raffle, with tickets on sale with excellent prizes on offer.’
      • ‘Tickets will be on sale shortly and will be issued on a first come first served basis.’
      • ‘The first batch of locally-produced wine went on sale in Kirkwall this week.’
      • ‘All the refreshments on sale will also be made from fair trade sources.’
      • ‘The new machine is due to go on sale in Britain tomorrow and is expected to be rolled out to other countries.’
      • ‘Extra copies of the current issue will go on sale in Easons in June as a test case for the second issue.’
    • 2Offered for purchase at a reduced price.

      ‘the crash put stocks on sale by slashing prices’
  • sale or return

    • An arrangement by which a purchaser takes a quantity of goods with the right of returning surplus goods without payment.

      as modifier ‘booksellers normally order books on a sale-or-return basis’
      • ‘Purchasing on a sale or return basis, Majestic will also offer the loan of chiller bins and ice and free glass loan.’
      • ‘He had made one call to her, concerning an assignment of scented candles he'd bought prior to Christmas on sale or return, which he wanted counted and re-boxed before they were picked up by the supplier.’
      • ‘The idea of selling bikes on a sale or return basis was a resounding success and the business turned around.’
      • ‘And I got all the drink for sale or return, and of course everyone drank it all.’
      • ‘Majestic also offers a sale or return, free delivery to venue and free glass hire agreement.’


Late Old English sala, from Old Norse sala, of Germanic origin; related to sell.