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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But those chains are putting too much effort toward growing their outlet businesses online, which will cheapen the brands over the long term and potentially hurt margins. Washington Post, "Ann Taylor Is Part of a Failed Retail Experiment," 3 Oct. 2019 Giving a spot to a player who can’t even compete, let alone contend, would cheapen the event. Daniel Rapaport,, "Cameron Champ’s Storybook Win, Romo’s Foolish Critics and More From on Tour," 30 Sep. 2019 Though presumably on-hand to provide laughter during that long 20-second trek, his digs came off snarky and off-putting and cheapened the moment. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "Why the 2019 Emmy Awards Didn't Shine Nearly as Bright as the Winners," 23 Sep. 2019 The increased complexity of the characters and darkness of the show itself are great, but felt cheapened by an overly convoluted mystery. Rebecca Smith,, "Veronica Mars Goes To Hulu & Grows The F*ck Up," 15 July 2019 To cheapen that gift with partisan actions dishonors the sacrifices of men and women who protect that freedom with their lives. Jeremy Butler, Time, "President Trump Has Planned a Big Military Tribute for the Fourth of July. That's Not the Best Way to Honor the Troops," 1 July 2019 What does cheapen his take is his further treatment of the subject of Meyer—or rather, the coach’s absence. Joan Niesen,, "There Is Nothing Remotely Controversial About Jim Harbaugh's Urban Meyer Comments," 19 July 2019 The comparison stirred up anger among U.S. Jews, who are mostly non-Orthodox, and drew a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, which said such statements cheapened the Holocaust. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Israeli education minister favors gay ‘conversion therapy’," 13 July 2019 And then there is another factor that cheapens the overall notion of the World Cup as any sort of true international championship. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Nothing Olympian about basketball’s World Cup | Commentary," 31 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of cheapen

1562, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for cheapen

Time Traveler

The first known use of cheapen was in 1562

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Statistics for cheapen

Last Updated

27 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cheapen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cheapen


How to pronounce cheapen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cheapen

: to cause (something) to be of lower quality
: to cause (something) to have or to seem to have less value, meaning, or importance


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cheapen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheapen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheapen

Spanish Central: Translation of cheapen

Nglish: Translation of cheapen for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cheapen

What made you want to look up cheapen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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