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To sell an item to the highest bidder. We're auctioning off a car at the charity event this year.
An auction in which the asking price is set high and then lowered until someone buys the item. What is this, a Dutch auction? Why is the auctioneer starting out at $1,000 for that piece of junk?
auction something off
to sell something [to the highest bidder] at an auction. He auctioned his home off. He auctioned off his home. The duke was forced to auction off his ancestral home to pay his taxes.
an auction or sale that starts off with a high asking price that is then reduced until a buyer is found. (Viewed by some as insulting to the Dutch.) Dutch auctions are rare—most auctioneers start with a lower price than they hope to obtain. My real estate agent advised me to ask a reasonable price for my house rather than get involved with a Dutch auction.
*up for auction
Fig. to be sold at an auction. (*Typically: be ~; come ~; go ~; put something ~.) The old farm where I lived as a child is up for auction.
To sell something to the person who offers the highest amount of money, at or as at an auction: We don't need this table anymore, so we should auction it off. To clear out the warehouse, the company auctioned off the old inventory.