6. If you sell an idea to someone or sell someone on an idea, you convince them that it is a good thing; an informal use: Let's hear your proposal. You 've got 10 minutes to sell it to me.
7. If you sell yourself, you present yourself in a way which makes people have confidence in you and your abilities; aninformal use: You 've got to sell yourself at the interview.
8. If you sell your honour, principles, etc., you give these things up in order to get some personal profit or advantage: He sold his principles for a successful career.
9. If you sell someone down the river, you betray them for some personal profit or advantage; an informal expression: He was only too ready to sell his native country down the river.
The comparative analysis of the meanings given in the five dictionaries enabled us to determine the common meanings that the verb "to sell" can acquire in different contexts. 13 common meanings were defined, Webster's New World Dictionary of American English providing 12 of them and the Concise Oxford Dictionary providing 7. The following table illustrates the determined common meanings and their availability in the above-mentioned lexical sources:
№ Complete List of Semantic Components
D1 D2 D3 D4 D5
1 To give up, deliver, or exchange (property, goods, services, etc.) for money or its equivalent: He sold his house to them.
2 To have or offer regularly for sale; deal in: The partners sell textiles. +
+ + - +
3 To offer dishonorably for money or other consideration, make a matter of corrupt bargaining: to sell one's soul to the devil.
4 To be responsible for the sale of, promote successfully: Publicity sold that product. + + + + +
5 To advertise or publish merits of; give (person) information on value of something; inspire with desire to buy something: Let's hear your proposal. You've got 10 minutes to sell it to me.
6 [Intransitive] Exchange property, goods or services for money, etc.: Is he thinking of selling?
7 To attract prospective buyers; to be popular on the market: An item that sells well. + + + + +
8 To effect a transfer of (goods, property or rights) as an agent: He sold their house for them.
9 To be accepted, approved, etc.: a scheme that won't sell. + - + - -
10 To betray for money or other reward: He sold them to the police. - + + + +
11 To be sold for or at a particular price: These little books sell for 95 pence each. + - + - +
12 [Slang] To disappoint by not keeping engagement etc., by failing in some way, or by trickery: He was sold over the deal.
13 To establish faith, confidence, or belief in: You've got to sell yourself at the interview. - - + - +
It can be noted that the dominant components of the meaning of the verb "to sell" (found in all the dictionaries), i.e. "To give up, deliver, or exchange (property, good, services, etc.) for money or its equivalent", "To be responsible for the sale of, promote successfully" (transitive) and "To attract prospective buyers; to be popular on the market" (intransitive) are closely connected to the direct meaning of the word, that is supplying something for sale. In the majority of the periphery meanings the verb "to sell" is used in its figurative sense. Besides, the conversive character of this verb somewhat fades away: e.g. we can say that somebody "sold himself/herself" at the interview, but we can hardly say that somebody "was bought" at the interview (at least the intended meaning will be misunderstood by the listener - "to buy" in the latter example will attain the meaning of "to bribe").
1.3.2. "To buy" - Semantic Structure in the Language System.
1) American Heritage Dictionary (Dl)
1. To acquire in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase.
2. To be capable of purchasing: Certainly there are lots of things in life that money won't buy. (Ogden Nash).
3. To acquire by sacrifice, exchange or trade: wanted to buy love with gifts.
4. To bribe: tried to buy a judge.
5. [Slang] To accept the truth or feasibility of: The officers didn 't buy my lame excuse for speeding.
6. To purchase goods; act as a purchaser.
7. To believe in a person or movement or subscribe to an idea or theory: couldn 't buy into that brand of conservatism.
2) New Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus (D2)
1. To acquire by paying money, purchase.
2. To obtain at some cost or sacrifice.
3. To win over by bribary or promises.
4. To be the price of: $ 4.000 will buy the machine.
3) Webster's New World Dictionary of American English (D3)
1. To get by paying or agreeing to pay money or some equivalent; purchase.
2. To get as by an exchange: buy victory with human lives.
3. To be the means of purchasing: all that money can buy.
4. To bribe or hire as by bribing.
5. [Slang] To accept as true, valid, practical, agreeable, etc.: I can't but this excuse.
6. [Archaic] Theological To redeem.
7. To buy something.
8. To buy merchandise as a buyer.
4) The Concise Oxford Dictionary (D4)
1. To obtain in exchange for money etc.
2. To serve to procure: money cannot buy happiness.
3. To get by some sacrifice: dearly bought.
4. To win over (person) by bribery etc.
5. [Slang] To accept, believe, be deceived by, suffer, receive by punishment, etc.: buy it, be killed.
5) Collins COBUILD Dictionary (D5)
1. If you buy something, you obtain it by paying money for it: She could not afford to buy it... Let me buy you a drink.
2. The amount that a certain sum of money buys is its value in terms of the quantity of goods or currency that can be obtained with it: The value of the pension in relation to the things that it buys.
3. If you buy freedom, time, etc., you offer something in return for your freedom, more time, etc.: They tried to buy time by saying that it would be ready next week.
4. If someone buys someone else, they get their help or services by bribing or corrupting them: I won't be bought that easily.
5. If you say "I'll buy that", you mean that you accept or believe what somebody has told you; an informal use: OK, I'll buy that... You've got no chance. He 'II never buy it!
The comparative analysis of these definitions proved that the semantic structure of the verb "to buy" contains 11 major common meanings. The American Heritage Dictionary and the Webster's New World Dictionary of American English provide 8 of them, whereas New Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus of the English Language provides only