\ ˈchēp How to pronounce cheap (audio) \

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)


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Other Words from cheap


cheapish \ ˈchē-​pish How to pronounce cheap (audio) \ adjective
cheapishly adverb
cheaply \ ˈchē-​plē How to pronounce cheap (audio) \ adverb
cheapness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cheap

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of cheap in a Sentence

Adjective 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 Be forewarned that many of them don’t come cheap, but here’s a stroll through this year’s key compilations... Gary Graff, cleveland, "John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John top 2020′s list of lavish boxed-set releases," 29 Dec. 2020 Home improvement projects are all the rage right now, but those remodels don’t come cheap. Jennifer Yellin, CNN Underscored, "These are our favorite store credit cards for 2021," 14 Dec. 2020 Given all these bells and whistles, this therapy lamp doesn't usually come cheap—its standard list price is $219.99. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday," 4 Dec. 2020 The array would come relatively cheap, at an estimated $100 million dollars. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "The Arecibo Observatory collapsed this week. What now?," 4 Dec. 2020 Solar panels are surprisingly cheap: A single Silfab SIL-320 maxes out at 320 watts and costs only about $250. Christopher Null, Wired, "Going Solar: My Year-Long Quest to Get Off the Grid," 12 Nov. 2020 But as Brooke Pryor of ESPN noted, keeping Roethlisberger for 2021 won’t be cheap, especially if the NFL reduces the salary cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Ben Roethlisberger reportedly plans to play in 2021; Panthers fire GM Marty Hurney: NFL news roundup," 21 Dec. 2020 To be sure, establishing a human colony on Mars will not be easy and will not be cheap. David W. Brown, WSJ, "For NASA, It Should Be Mars or Bust," 18 Dec. 2020 After all, talk is cheap, while action can be costly. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, "CEOs found their voice in a year of upheaval," 16 Dec. 2020

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

Noun and Adjective

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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Time Traveler for cheap

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cheap

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cheap


How to pronounce cheap (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cheap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not costing a lot of money
: of low quality : not worth a lot of money
: charging low prices



English Language Learners Definition of cheap (Entry 2 of 2)

: at a low cost : for a low price


\ ˈchēp How to pronounce cheap (audio) \
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

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