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

transitive verb

[obsolete English cheap to price, bid for] archaic
: to ask the price of
: to bid or bargain for
: to make cheap in price or value
: to lower in general esteem
: 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 During a night that seemed hellbent on cheapening hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, Leto’s presentation was especially pointless. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 13 Sep. 2023 Now that’s going to be used to put people out of work, or cheapen their labor. Kate Knibbs, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 The drop in exports, combined with a jump in imports driven by strong domestic demand, has cheapened the ruble further, according to Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 14 Aug. 2023 But with each year, the ranks of climate denialists have thinned, the will to political action has grown, green technology has improved and cheapened, and the pace of its adoption has accelerated. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 June 2023 Lando expects municipal debt to cheapen as the slowdown takes hold. Shruti Singh,, 4 May 2023 But don’t cheapen what the Knights did this week by linking their philanthropy to the future of the Trail Blazers. Bill Oram, oregonlive, 26 Jan. 2023 Not only has this trend cheapened the setup, it’s invited a challenge not frequently enough met by writers or directors to meld that weight with physical or psychological thrills that cathartically pay it off. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 25 May 2023 Only an unattractive Alpine CD unit, stuck in the center of the dash, cheapens the place. Tim Stevens, Robb Report, 4 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cheapen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1562, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cheapen was in 1562

Dictionary Entries Near cheapen

Cite this Entry

“Cheapen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

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