Definition of sale in US English:



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

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    • ‘The London auction house set to sell the painting said it had withdrawn the picture from sale immediately.’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

    ‘a clearance sale’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The average price recorded from the time the sales started in the period under review was $1.89 per kilogramme.’
    deal, transaction, bargain, disposal
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    1. 2.1often with modifier A public or charitable event at which goods are sold.
      • ‘The next fundraising event is an indoor sale to be held at Melksham Labour Club on February 22.’
      • ‘She regularly holds sales and other fundraising events and has raised thousands of pounds.’
      • ‘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.’
      fete, fair, jumble sale, bring-and-buy sale, car boot sale, carnival
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    2. 2.2 A public auction.
      • ‘The fundraiser will also feature music by a number of local artists as well as a silent auction and art sale.’
      • ‘Any remaining items will go to the auction mart furniture sale on Wednesday, June 6.’


  • (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.’
      • ‘As his ship approached land it was met by a fishing-boat offering fresh prawns for sale.’
      • ‘Homemade gifts will also be for sale and offer a great way to begin holiday shopping.’
      • ‘There are hundreds of thousands of items for sale from clocks to cars and paintings to pottery.’
      • ‘Mr Bazeley's cards and prints are still being offered for sale in aid of the hospital.’
      • ‘Christie's said it could be the most important item of football history to be offered for sale.’
      • ‘He wants to recover artefacts from the ship, which will be donated to museums or offered for sale.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What are the pros and cons of offering a property both for sale and rent at the same time?’
      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’
      • ‘All the refreshments on sale will also be made from fair trade sources.’
      • ‘The evening will include a raffle, with tickets on sale with excellent prizes on offer.’
      • ‘Videos of the night are still on sale and can be purchased by contacting Betty Sweeney.’
      • ‘The full version of this article can be seen in the December issue of Tatler, on sale this week’
      • ‘The new machine is due to go on sale in Britain tomorrow and is expected to be rolled out to other countries.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Admission is only 5 euros and tickets are on sale locally or can be had on the night.’
      • ‘Extra copies of the current issue will go on sale in Easons in June as a test case for the second issue.’
      • ‘The CD went on sale to parents and friends on Friday and has already sold 50 copies.’
      1. 1.1North American Offered for purchase at a reduced price.


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