cheap out

intransitive verb

informal
: to be cheap with money : to spend less than should be spent in order to save money
We love to spend money to send lawbreakers away, hiring ever more cops, building ever more prisons. But we cheap out on the help they need to go straight when they get out, which is stupid. Tom McNamee, Chicago Sun-Times, 14 May 2007
At his previous start-up, … he had learned that cheaping out on legal help when money is tight can cost dearly later on. Mark Obbie, Inc., December 2004
It doesn't pay to cheap out. You get what you pay for. … the cheaper tablets we tested that cost from $100 to about $400 cut way too many corners … Consumer Reports, February 2011

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cheap out was in 1958

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Cite this Entry

“Cheap out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cheap%20out. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

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