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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web For Momtchil Pojarliev, head of currencies at BNP Paribas Asset Management, the yen has cheapened enough. Susanne Barton,, "Dollar Has No Equal for Investors Sheltering From Outbreak," 8 May 2020 Drexler was reportedly one of the executives most opposed to plans by his successor, Jim Brett, to sell J.Crew on, believing that doing so would cheapen the brand. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "J.Crew finally found a new CEO: Jan Singer, formerly of Victoria’s Secret," 29 Jan. 2020 To call them just games is to cheapen their very existence. Joseph Goodman |, al, "The heartbreaking impact of no NCAA Tournament," 12 Mar. 2020 Among its other virtues, Heart Chamber lays bare the ludicrousness of the notion that opera is automatically cheapened or endangered by the use of electronically produced sound. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, "Opera at the Edge," 7 Dec. 2019 Understanding them as feminist crusaders neither cheapens their struggle nor excuses their wickedness. New York Times, "Renewing the World (or the Theater, at Least)," 13 Feb. 2020 Minor members of the royal family have struggled in the past to monetize their links to the monarchy without getting embroiled in scandal or cheapening the royal brand. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Prince Harry, Meghan to Give Up ‘Royal Highness’ Titles," 18 Jan. 2020 It is filled with romantic fantasy and historical errors, and cheapens my mother’s real service with untruths. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Blind date leads to 55 years of love that gets sweeter every day," 14 Feb. 2020 Furthermore, the loss of such an important market has cheapened the prices offered for soybeans and, as a result, dragged down the prices offered for corn and wheat. WSJ, "Trump’s Tariffs Sure Aren’t Working for Us," 6 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of cheapen

1562, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cheapen

Time Traveler for cheapen

Time Traveler

The first known use of cheapen was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cheapen

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cheapen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!