Pay vs Sell - What's the difference?

pay | sell |

As verbs the difference between pay and sell

is that pay is to give money or other compensation to in exchange for goods or services or pay can be (nautical|transitive) to cover (the bottom of a vessel, a seam, a spar, etc) with tar or pitch, or a waterproof composition of tallow, resin, etc; to smear while sell is (intransitive) to transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.

As nouns the difference between pay and sell

is that pay is money given in return for work; salary or wages while sell is an act of selling or sell can be (obsolete) a seat or stool.

As an adjective pay

is operable or accessible on deposit of coins.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) ).


  • To give money or other compensation to in exchange for goods or services.
  • * , chapter=17
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-21, author=(Oliver Burkeman)
  • , volume=189, issue=2, page=48, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= The tao of tech , passage=The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about
  • (ambitransitive) To discharge, as a debt or other obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required.
  • * (Bible), (Psalms) xxxvii. 21
  • The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-22, volume=407, issue=8841, page=68, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= T time , passage=Yet in “Through a Latte, Darkly”, a new study of how Starbucks has largely avoided paying tax in Britain, Edward Kleinbard […] shows that current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate what he calls “stateless income”: […]. In Starbucks’s case, the firm has in effect turned the process of making an expensive cup of coffee into intellectual property.}}
  • To be profitable for.
  • To give (something else than money).
  • * (William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • not paying me a welcome
  • *
  • They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups.
  • To be profitable or worth the effort.
  • To discharge an obligation or debt.
  • To suffer consequences.
  • Derived terms
    * hell to pay * pay as you earn * pay-as-you-go * pay attention * pay back * pay down * payee * payer * pay for * pay for it * pay forward * pay in * payment * pay off * pay one's dues * pay one's respects * pay out * pay-per-view * pay respect * pay the bills * pay the freight * pay the penalty * pay the piper * pay through the nose * pay up * rob Peter to pay Paul * take or pay * you get what you pay for
    * (to give money) compensate
    * (to give money) bribe, disburse, fund, pay off, pay out, pay up, reimburse


    (en noun)
  • Money given in return for work; salary or wages.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=10 , passage=The skipper Mr. Cooke had hired at Far Harbor was a God-fearing man with a luke warm interest in his new billet and employer, and had only been prevailed upon to take charge of the yacht after the offer of an emolument equal to half a year's sea pay of an ensign in the navy.}}
    Derived terms
    * combat pay * danger pay


  • Operable or accessible on deposit of coins.
  • Pertaining to or requiring payment.
  • Etymology 2

    (etyl) peier, from (etyl) (lena) .


    (en verb)
  • (nautical) To cover (the bottom of a vessel, a seam, a spar, etc.) with tar or pitch, or a waterproof composition of tallow, resin, etc.; to smear.
  • Statistics



    * * * 1000 English basic words ----



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) sellen, from (etyl) , Icelandic selja.


  • (intransitive) To transfer goods or provide services in exchange for money.
  • * Bible, (w) xix. 21
  • If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-10, volume=408, issue=8848, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= A new prescription , passage=No sooner has a [synthetic] drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one. These “legal highs” are sold for the few months it takes the authorities to identify and ban them, and then the cycle begins again.}}
  • (ergative) To be sold.
  • To promote a particular viewpoint.
  • (slang) To trick, cheat, or manipulate someone.
  • * (Charles Dickens)
  • * {{quote-news, year=2011, date=January 12, author=Saj Chowdhury, work=BBC
  • , title= Liverpool 2-1 Liverpool , passage=Raul Meireles was the victim of the home side's hustling on this occasion giving the ball away to the impressive David Vaughan who slipped in Taylor-Fletcher. The striker sold Daniel Agger with the best dummy of the night before placing his shot past keeper Pepe Reina.}}
  • (professional wrestling, slang) To pretend that an opponent's blows or maneuvers are causing legitimate injury; to act.
  • Antonyms
    * buy
    Derived terms
    * sell-by date * sell-out * sell-outs * sell-through * sell down * sell down the river * sell ice to Eskimos * sell like hotcakes * sell one's soul * sell out * sell refrigerators to Eskimos * sell wolf tickets


    * To trick, or cheat someone. *


    (en noun)
  • An act of selling.
  • This is going to be a tough sell .
  • An easy task.
  • * 1922': What a '''sell for Lena! - (Katherine Mansfield), ''The Doll's House (Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics paperback 2002, 354)
  • (colloquial, dated) An imposition, a cheat; a hoax.
  • * 1919 ,
  • "Of course a miracle may happen, and you may be a great painter, but you must confess the chances are a million to one against it. It'll be an awful sell if at the end you have to acknowledge you've made a hash of it."

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) selle, from (etyl) sella.

    Alternative forms

    * selle (obsolete)


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) A seat or stool.
  • (Fairfax)
  • (archaic) A saddle.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , II.ii:
  • turning to that place, in which whyleare / He left his loftie steed with golden sell , / And goodly gorgeous barbes, him found not theare [...].