cheap·​en | \ ˈchē-pən How to pronounce cheapen (audio) \
cheapened; cheapening\ ˈchēp-​niŋ How to pronounce cheapen (audio) , ˈchē-​pə-​ \

Definition of cheapen

transitive verb

1 [obsolete English cheap to price, bid for] archaic
a : to ask the price of
b : to bid or bargain for
2a : to make cheap in price or value
b : to lower in general esteem
c : to make tawdry, vulgar, or inferior

intransitive verb

: to become cheap

Examples of cheapen in a Sentence

products cheapened by sloppy workmanship Using the national flag in advertising only cheapens it. Poor marketing can cheapen a brand name. I thought that the show cheapened the lives of the people it portrayed. The wedding ceremony was cheapened by the best man's tasteless jokes.
Recent Examples on the Web Putting more time between races would cheapen the accomplishment and all future Triple Crown winners would deserve to have an asterisk next to their names. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 14 May 2022 These enlightened and compelling updates never cheapen the legacy of this story. Courtney Howard, Variety, 17 Mar. 2022 But Iron Man died in Avengers: Endgame, and resurrecting him will cheapen his emotional arc. Chris Smith, BGR, 27 Feb. 2022 That doesn’t cheapen Georgia’s 33-18 triumph over Alabama on the big stage. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2022 When cultural change becomes a product, cheap versions abound, which threatens to cheapen our future, too. Devon Powers, Wired, 30 Dec. 2021 Brands, particularly luxury labels, have been caught destroying unsold goods in order to avoid using off-price sellers who might cheapen the value of the brand. Joan Verdon, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Opponents have argued at several public hearings that the project threatens to cheapen living standards for tenants across the city and evict current residents when replacement housing is all but impossible to find. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Dec. 2021 Some feel the pageant could cheapen the memory of the the lives lost, Reuters reports. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of cheapen

1562, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of cheapen was in 1562

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cheapen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for cheapen


cheap·​en | \ ˈchē-pən How to pronounce cheapen (audio) \
cheapened; cheapening

Kids Definition of cheapen

: to cause to be of lower quality, value, or importance Products are cheapened by poor workmanship.

More from Merriam-Webster on cheapen

Nglish: Translation of cheapen for Spanish Speakers


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