Definition of sell (or sell off) the family jewels in US English:

sell (or sell off) the family jewels


  • Part with or sell valuable or precious resources for the sake of immediate profit or advantage.

    ‘he has no intention of selling the family jewels by licensing out his technology too early’
    • ‘There are accusations of selling off the family jewels to pay for extravagant building projects.’
    • ‘Governments have to sell off the family jewels to pay for infrastructure.’
    • ‘Sometimes the rich clubs get richer, but the not-quite-so-rich sell off most of the family jewels to remain solvent.’
    • ‘I am able to pay for this private treatment without having to sell the family jewels.’
    • ‘Another idea was that, to help get out of debt, we sell off the family jewels: in effect, we look at asset sales.’
    • ‘This has been regarded by many as a selling of the family jewels for a quick gain by the council.’
    • ‘It is widely known that he was most unhappy about selling the country's family jewels.’
    • ‘I was pleasantly surprised that the government is not selling the family jewels.’