Definition of sale in English:


Line breaks: sale
Pronunciation: /seɪl


  • 1 [mass 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
    More example sentences
    • Some money from every sale goes towards the efforts of the Band Aid Trust in Africa.
    • Money from each book sale will go to the Alice Rose Trust which supports sick children.
    • Privatization without flotation on the stock market means either a management buy-out or sale by tender.
  • 1.1 (sales) A quantity or amount sold: price cuts failed to boost sales
    More example sentences
    • The overall annual quantity of our beef sales to Egypt when translated into live cattle equivalent amounts to 450,000 animals.
    • But when prices fall, sales generally increase, offsetting some of the decrease in revenue.
    • The fear is that corporate profits have been boosted by cost cutting, not increased sales and prices from a revival of the economy.
  • 1.2 (sales) The activity or business of selling products: director of sales and marketing
    More example sentences
    • We play but a support role in the most important aspect of the promotional products business: sales.
    • 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.
  • 2A period during which a shop sells goods at reduced prices: the January sales got under way this week
    More example sentences
    • 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
  • 2.1A 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
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • The next fundraising event is an indoor sale to be held at Melksham Labour Club on February 22.


(up) for sale

Offered for purchase; to be bought: cars for sale at reasonable prices
More example sentences
  • The sofas are being offered for sale in supermarket car parks and on motorway service stations.
  • Homemade gifts will also be for sale and offer a great way to begin holiday shopping.
  • A popular move included forcing local authorities to offer council houses for sale.
on the market, on sale, on offer, available for purchase, able to be bought/purchased, purchasable, obtainable, in the shops

on sale

  • 1Offered for purchase: the November issue is on sale now
    More example sentences
    • Extra copies of the current issue will go on sale in Easons in June as a test case for the second issue.
    • The full version of this article can be seen in the December issue of Tatler, on sale this week
    • Videos of the night are still on sale and can be purchased by contacting Betty Sweeney.
  • 2North American Offered for purchase at a reduced price: the crash put stocks on sale by slashing prices

sale or return

British 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
More example sentences
  • Purchasing on a sale or return basis, Majestic will also offer the loan of chiller bins and ice and free glass loan.
  • The idea of selling bikes on a sale or return basis was a resounding success and the business turned around.
  • 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.


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

More definitions of sale

Definition of sale in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea