Etymology
Advertisement
auction (n.)

"public sale in which each bidder offers more than the previous bid," 1590s, from Latin auctionem (nominative auctio) "a sale by increasing bids, public sale," noun of action from past-participle stem of augere "to increase," from PIE root *aug- (1) "to increase." In northern England and Scotland, called a roup. In the U.S., something is sold at auction; in England, by auction.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
auction (v.)

"sell by auction," by 1723 (implied in auctioned), from auction (n.). Since early 19c., commonly with off (adv.). Related: Auctioning.

Related entries & more 
auctioneer (n.)
1708, "one whose business is to offer goods or property for sale by auction," from auction (n.) + -eer. From 1733 as a verb, "to sell by auction." Related: Auctioneering.
Related entries & more 
*aug- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to increase." It forms all or part of: auction; augment; augmentative; augur; August; august; Augustus; author; authoritarian; authorize; auxiliary; auxin; eke (v.); inaugurate; nickname; waist; wax (v.1) "grow bigger or greater."

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ojas- "strength," vaksayati "cause to grow;" Lithuanian augu, augti "to grow," aukštas "high, of superior rank;" Greek auxo "increase," auxein "to increase;" Gothic aukan "to grow, increase;" Latin augmentum "an increase, growth," augere "to increase, make big, enlarge, enrich;" Old English eacien "to increase," German wachsen, Gothic wahsjan "to grow, increase."

Related entries & more 
vendue (n.)
"public sale, auction," 1680s, from Dutch vendu, from obsolete French vendue "sale, selling price," from vendre "to sell," from Latin vendere (see vend).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
barker (n.)
late 14c., "a dog;" late 15c., "noisy fellow;" agent noun from bark (v.). Specific sense of "loud assistant in an auction, store, or show" is from 1690s.
Related entries & more 
consignment (n.)

1560s, "act of sealing with a sign," from consign + -ment. (Earlier in this sense was consignation, 1530s, from Medieval Latin consignatio). Meaning "delivering over" is from 1660s; especially of goods, for the sake of sale or auction, from c. 1700. Meaning "quantity of goods so assigned" is recorded from 1720s.

Related entries & more 
knock (v.)
Old English cnocian (West Saxon cnucian), "to pound, beat; knock (on a door)," likely of imitative origin. Figurative meaning "deprecate, put down" is from 1892. Related: Knocked; knocking. Of engines from 1869. To knock back (a drink) "swallow quickly or at a gulp" is from 1931. Many phrases are in reference to the auctioneer's hammer, for example knock down (v.) "dispose of (something) at auction" (1760).
Related entries & more 
overcome (v.)

Old English ofercuman "to reach, overtake, move or pass over," also "to conquer, prevail over, defeat in combat" (the Devil, evil spirits, sin, temptation, etc.), from ofer (see over) + cuman "to come" (see come (v.)). A common Germanic compound (Middle Dutch overkomen, Old High German ubarqueman, German überkommen).

In reference to mental or chemical force, "to overwhelm, render helpless," it is in late Old English. Meaning "to surmount (a difficulty or obstacle); succeed, be successful" is from c. 1200. The Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was put together c. 1950s from the lyrics of Charles Tindley's spiritual "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1901) and the melody from the pre-Civil War spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me." Related: Overcame; overcoming.

Related entries & more 
sale (n.)

Middle English sale, from late Old English sala "a sale, act of selling," which according to OED probably is from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse sala "sale," but in either case from Proto-Germanic *salo (source also of Old High German sala, Swedish salu, Danish salg), from PIE root *sal- (3) "to grasp, take."

The specific application to a public auction is by 1670s. The sense of "a selling of shop goods at lower prices than usual" is attested by 1866. To be for sale "available for purchase, intended to be sold" is by 1610s; on sale in the same sense is by 1540s; the earlier form was to sale (late 14c.). Salariat "the salaried class" is by 1918, from French. Also see sales.

Related entries & more