\ ˈchēp \

Definition of cheap 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : charging or obtainable at a low price a good cheap hotel cheap tickets

b : purchasable below the going price or the real value

c : depreciated in value (as by currency inflation) cheap dollars

2a : of inferior quality or worth : tawdry, sleazy cheap workmanship

b : stingy My uncle was too cheap to pay for dinner.

c : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities feeling cheap I felt cheap, full of shame and guilt

3 : gained or done with little effort a cheap victory talk is cheap

4 of money : obtainable at a low rate of interest



Definition of cheap (Entry 2 of 3)

: for little cost : cheaply was able to buy it cheap "It all seems to centre round that bust of Napoleon which I bought for this very room about four months ago. I picked it up cheap from Harding Brothers, two doors from the High Street Station." —Arthur Conan Doyle



Definition of cheap (Entry 3 of 3)

on the cheap

: at minimum expense : cheaply did the job on the cheap

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Other words from cheap


cheapish \ˈchē-pish \ adjective
cheapishly adverb
cheaply \ˈchē-plē \ adverb
cheapness noun

Examples of cheap in a Sentence


I always buy the cheapest brand of cereal. curtains made of cheap material He wears a cheap watch that's always breaking. This gas station is cheaper than the one by the highway. Don't be cheap—buy good quality tires for your car.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This shift should be taken with a pinch of salt, however; burgers may be getting cheaper, but overall Norwegian inflation is a bland 2.6%. The Economist, "Investors are gorging on American assets," 12 July 2018 And, most significantly, heavy drinking became the norm, thanks to the sudden availability of cheap, industrial-grade booze. Benjamin Kemper, Smithsonian, "Raising a Glass to Armenia’s Elaborate Toasting Tradition," 13 July 2018 That control comes largely in the form of energy storage devices such as Powerwall, which recently added a feature that allows users to program the unit to buy power from the grid at cheaper, off-peak times. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Burning for Tesla Powerwall? Get ready to wait as Musk's solar vision takes a backseat to Model 3," 13 July 2018 With health and climate concerns deepening as a direct consequence, the question becomes, at what cost is our meal of cheap, convenient meat? Robert Abele,, "'Eating Animals' review: Natalie Portman, Jonathan Safran Foer want you to care about where your meat comes from," 12 July 2018 Soria’s free-agent deal was a departure from loading the bullpen with younger, cheap, power arms. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The State of the Royals, Part 1 of 2: How did they get here?," 12 July 2018 Particle board is a cheap, common furniture construction that takes waste scraps of wood, slathers them in glue, and binds them into blocks. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "8 Tips to Help You Move Like a Pro," 11 July 2018 With a starting price of $69,500, the I-Pace is more attractive and ten grand cheaper. Matthew Scott, Outside Online, "The Electric Jaguar I-Pace Can Go Off-Road," 9 July 2018 Closed courses offer a prime opportunity for real estate developers: Years of decline in the golf industry have made the land cheap, and often the properties are located in well-off areas with prime access to good schools and commercial districts. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "Going out of business, golf courses become prime redevelopment targets," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cheap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cheap


1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1569, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cheap


see cheap entry 3


Middle English chep, from Old English cēap trade; akin to Old High German kouf trade; both ultimately from Latin caupo tradesman

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Phrases Related to cheap

cheap thrill

come cheap

talk is cheap

Statistics for cheap

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cheap

The first known use of cheap was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cheap



English Language Learners Definition of cheap

: not costing a lot of money

: of low quality : not worth a lot of money

: charging low prices


\ ˈchēp \
cheaper; cheapest

Kids Definition of cheap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not costing much a cheap meal

2 : charging low prices a cheap hotel

3 : worth little : of low quality cheap perfume

4 : gained without much effort a cheap victory

5 : having little self-respect I feel cheap lying to her.

6 : not willing to share or spend money : stingy my cheap uncle

Other words from cheap

cheaply adverb



Kids Definition of cheap (Entry 2 of 2)

: at low cost They'll sell cheap.

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Comments on cheap

What made you want to look up cheap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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