sell (one's) soul (to the devil)

(redirected from sell his soul to the devil)

sell (one's) soul (to the devil)

To abandon one's values or morals in return for some highly desired benefit, typically success, power, wealth, etc. I'm afraid we've sold our soul to the devil by agreeing to this partnership. It will keep us in business, but at what cost to our clients? Don't sell your soul to get to the top, or else you'll find yourself all alone there.
See also: sell, soul
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sell your soul

COMMON If someone sells their soul for something, they do whatever they need to in order to get that thing, doing things that they considered wrong before. As the Co-operative movement approaches its 150th anniversary, has it sold its soul to commercial pressures? Note: Sometimes people use the longer expression to sell your soul to the devil. His devoted fans thought he had sold his soul to the devil producing such commercial music. Note: There are many stories about people who sold their souls to the devil in return for wealth, success, or pleasure. The most famous is about Dr Faustus, whose story was first told in a book published in Germany in 1587, and later told by writers such as the English writer Marlowe and the German poet Goethe.
See also: sell, soul
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

sell your soul (to the devil)

do or be willing to do anything, no matter how wrong, in order to achieve your objective.
The reference here is to a contract supposedly made with the devil by certain people: in return for granting them all their desires in this life, the devil would receive their souls for all eternity. The most famous person reputed to have entered into such a contract was the 16th-century German astronomer and necromancer Faust, who became the subject of plays by Goethe and Marlowe and a novel by Thomas Mann .
See also: sell, soul
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

sell your ˈsoul

(informal, often humorous) do something morally or legally wrong in order to get something that you want very much: He’d sell his soul to get that job.
This expression refers to selling your soul to the devil in exchange for power, money, etc.
See also: sell, soul
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV mocked the remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte, who claimed he would 'sell his soul to the devil' just to give repatriating overseas Filipino workers (OFW) a comfortable life in the Philippines.
The film is a re-telling of the classic story of Dr Faustus, a heartless businessman who has the chance to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for power and knowledge.
Similarly, the Faust of legend is tempted to sell his soul to the devil (and, consequently, his right to a place in the paradise of heaven--the only Eden humankind can ever know) in exchange for omniscience, even omnipotence.
Whether he did or didn't sell his soul to the devil in exchange for a cracking singing voice is open to debate.
Of course, the catch for young singer Daniel (David Cope) is that he has to literally sell his soul to the devil to achieve superstardom.
Introducing readers to the Robert Johnson's personal history (and whether or not he really did sell his soul to the devil in exchange for his unorthodox playing technique), Finding Robert Johnson provides an informed presentation of Delta-Blues Open G Tuning method which has influenced guitarists ever since.
Garnault feels that by using CCTV audiences will be able to more clearly understand Faustus's annoyance with God and perhaps why he chooses to sell his soul to the devil. Although the play is recognised as a piece about greed and the price that must be paid for your desires, Garnault says it is as much about religion.
"He would sell his soul to the devil. He is not loyal to his religion.