to sell one's life dearly


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Sell \Sell\ (s[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sold (s[=o]ld); p.
   pr. & vb. n. Selling.] [OE. sellen, sillen, AS. sellan,
   syllan, to give, to deliver; akin to OS. sellian, OFries.
   sella, OHG. sellen, Icel. selja to hand over, to sell, Sw.
   s[aum]lja to sell, Dan. s[ae]lge, Goth. saljan to offer a
   sacrifice; all from a noun akin to E. sale. Cf. Sale.]
   1. To transfer to another for an equivalent; to give up for a
      valuable consideration; to dispose of in return for
      something, especially for money. It is the correlative of
      buy.
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            If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast,
            and give to the poor.                 --Matt. xix.
                                                  21.
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            I am changed; I'll go sell all my land. --Shak.
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   Note: Sell is corellative to buy, as one party buys what the
         other sells. It is distinguished usually from exchange
         or barter, in which one commodity is given for another;
         whereas in selling the consideration is usually money,
         or its representative in current notes.
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   2. To make a matter of bargain and sale of; to accept a price
      or reward for, as for a breach of duty, trust, or the
      like; to betray.
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            You would have sold your king to slaughter. --Shak.
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   3. To impose upon; to trick; to deceive; to make a fool of;
      to cheat. [Slang] --Dickens.
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   To sell one's life dearly, to cause much loss to those who
      take one's life, as by killing a number of one's
      assailants.

   To sell (anything) out, to dispose of it wholly or
      entirely; as, he had sold out his corn, or his interest in
      a business.
      [1913 Webster]
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