Few letters in the English language sound the same when spelled. For instance, we spell the letters S and C in the same way in some words.
For example, the words sell and cell. Also, these words are homophones, which makes them even more confusing. These words are differently used, yet we pronounce them in the same way.
- Sell is a verb that means to transfer ownership of something in exchange for money or other goods, while a cell is a noun that refers to a small room or compartment.
- Sell is an action that involves a buyer and a seller, while a cell is a physical space.
- Sell is used in business and commerce, while a cell is used in architecture and construction.
Sell vs Cell
The difference between sell and cell is that sell is a word that denotes the exchange of articles/ goods/ items for money or providing a money service. On the other hand, the word cell depicts a boundary, for instance, a prison cell or a small room. Biologically, the word cell is the primary unit of life. In the human body, every organ comprises a group of cells.
The word Sell falls under the classification of a noun and a verb. As a verb, it depicts the act of agreeing to exchange something for money. It could also be a point of view/ idea.
For instance, the CEO of the company wanted to sell his idea to the clients. As a noun, it describes the procedure of selling.
The word cell (strictly a noun) describes a boundary or a small area. For instance, we can also refer to a small room in a monastery (for a monk) as a cell.
Scientifically, the word cell has two meanings, an electric cell or a biological cell. Electric Cell is a component of the battery, while the biological cell is part of the human organ system.
|Parameters of Comparison
|Noun and Verb
|Act of exchanging something for money
|A closed boundary
|Conveying an idea or a point of view/ opinion
|Electric cell, Biological Cell, etc.
|Old English word- Sellan (to supply)
|Latin word- Cellula (small/ storeroom)
|She wanted to sell her bike to celebrate her son’s birthday
|The cell is the basic unit of life.
What is Sell?
As mentioned above, the word Sell acts as a noun and a verb but is frequently used as a verb. As a verb, it denotes the act of exchanging items for money. Only an article doesn’t need to be sold.
It could be an idea or an opinion on a sale. For instance, He wanted to sell his startup idea to the investors present in the auditorium.
The concept of sales or selling originated after the discovery of currency, earlier barter system was followed, wherein people exchanged goods for goods.
Sales, wherein people exchange money for goods replaced this system. The word sell originated from the Old English word- Sellan and the Old German word- Sellen. Both of them mean the same- to supply or to give.
We need not relate the word sell to selling goods. It could also mean selling an idea or a proposal, which is invaluable in terms of money. As they say, ‘Ideas are the currency of successes.
Similarly, providing a money service can also be termed selling or sales. For instance, spas and saloons provide haircuts and other services for money.
Any customer showing interest in a product or service is termed as the buyer and the person providing the service is called the seller. Buyers and sellers are two sides of the same coin called sales.
According to Oxford Dictionary, currently, the word sell is one of the most frequently used words globally. The significance of selling and sales/ trade has increased tremendously in recent years.
What is Cell?
The aforementioned cell is a word that acts strictly as a noun. It denotes a closed space, for instance, a prison cell, a monk’s cell, etc.
We define a biological cell as the component of any living organism, be it unicellular or multicellular. In a multicellular organism, a single cell multiplies to form an organ that transforms into an organ system/ body.
The word cell arises from the Latin word Cellula, which means a tiny bounded area used to store something.
Thus, it was used to describe a prison or a monastic cell as these rooms are small, with enough things to survive. A monastic cell is a small fragment of a monastery- which contains few monks or nuns.
In medical terms, a cell is a basic part, hence the size of a biological cell is so minute that it is not visible through naked eyes. It is only visible through a simple or compound microscope.
The average size of a cell varies between 1-100 micrometers. The invention of the electron microscope has aided in improving the research sector.
The electron microscope provides in-depth clear picturization of the cell with its organelles and other components.
The biological cell received its name because it resembled monasteries/ monastic cells in the Christian religion. The scientist who discovered the cell- Robert Hooke gave it in 1665.
The word cell could also mean a segment of a vast honeycomb. Nowadays, it is used to quote a politically active group.
In most developed countries, the word cell is used to describe a mobile phone, popularly known as a cellphone.
All these definitions lead to one conclusion- the cell is a word used to describe a tiny compact area that can store material.
Main Differences Between Sell and Cell
- The word Sell can be a noun and a verb, while the word cell is strictly a noun.
- Sell originated from the Old English word- Sella, whereas the cell originated from the Latin word- Cellula.
- The word sell represents the act of exchanging materials for money, whereas the word cell represents a minute compact area.
- The word sell could also mean the act of exchanging an idea or a service without money. For instance, we can include a business proposal in the category of sale. Whereas Cell, scientifically, could also mean a cell in a battery or an electronic device or a biological cell.
- We can use the word sell in a sentence as, ‘He wanted to sell his car to meet ends with the loan, while we can use the cell in a sentence as ‘After the judgment, they sent the thief to his cell for life imprisonment.
Last Updated : 23 July, 2023
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.