sell off - sell out

< Previous | Next >


Spanish Argentina
Hi there, I m a bit concerned about the difference between "sell out" and "sell off":

Example 1: sell off
The Brazilian government stands accused of selling off huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest - including its oldest protected national park

Example 2: sell out
A total of seven million units priced at £25.21 per share are available after investors sold out of their positions in the fund. ...

"Sell off" in wordreference is defined as " vender", liquidar but so is "sell out"
Why would you "sell off" to sell rainforest and why would you "sell out" of a position to sell stocks/ bonds ( as a trader for instance )

Thanks in advance
  • gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    To sell off means to sell parts of something you own. It may mean selling all of the thing, but may not. "He sold off 10 acres of his land, and now he only has three acres left." A very literal translation is "quitar vendiendo."

    To sell out is an intransitive verb that usually means to sell until the thing is all gone, but in this context it is a transitive verb that means the sellers left (exited) their positions in the fund by selling. This usage is rather unusual, and I think it is financial jargon.

    "Flashlights were sold out at the store after the power went out."
    < Previous | Next >