\ 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)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cheap


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for cheap

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Health coverage is unquestionably an important benefit, and employer coverage is generally cheaper and better than the health plans individuals can find on the open market. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Jeff Bezos becomes the first CEO to break his pledge to dump the ‘shareholder value’ model," 16 Sep. 2019 Some people are substituting cheap and dangerous street drugs for the real thing., "Investigation finds spiked CBD being sold in Maryland; illegal drugs show dark side of vape craze," 16 Sep. 2019 The cheapest are 402-square-foot studios for $1,750 a month, and prices can reach as high as $3,254 a month for a two-bedroom unit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Historic Spreckels Building begins leasing after more than 5 years of construction," 14 Sep. 2019 The ‘guys stop arguing’ line: One of the cheapest attempted applause lines at this debates is when candidates complain about their opponents arguing too much. Aaron Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: Winners and losers in the third Democratic debate," 13 Sep. 2019 Consumer Score: 88% give it 4 stars or higher More of a diffuser than humidifier, the Urpower is the cheapest, easiest way to add some aromatherapy to your home. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "Breathe Easier With One of These 8 Best Humidifiers," 13 Sep. 2019 Luckily, replacement bulbs are easy to come by and cheap! Country Living, "Here's Exactly How to Fix Christmas Lights," 13 Sep. 2019 Home viewing is cheap and convenient, tough barriers for companies still committed to the theatrical experience, as many independent and art-film distributors are. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Onscreen in Toronto: Reasons for Hope at the Movies This Fall," 13 Sep. 2019 But one is $4 cheaper and comes delivered to your table with a legit ice cream sundae. oregonlive, "These are top 5 Portland-area Dairy Queen locations, according to readers," 12 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cheap

Statistics for cheap

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for cheap

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cheap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheap

Spanish Central: Translation of cheap

Nglish: Translation of cheap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cheap for Arabic Speakers

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).


not being in agreement or harmony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!