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

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 Whatever its ambitions, The Kitchen cheapens the notion of empowerment by using it to tell a story whose main achievement is glorifying an oppressive crime ring. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Cheap Thrills of The Kitchen and Why Women Kill," 19 Aug. 2019 But the Loons ended up cheapening their standing in the playoff race with a 1-1 draw with Orlando City at Allianz Field. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Minnesota United salvages a point in a wild finish to a 1-1 draw with Orlando," 17 Aug. 2019 Features could dilute an artist’s vision and cheapen the work. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "Ed Sheeran and Friends," 22 July 2019 Brandopolis respects no boundaries, even if familiar landmarks are cheapened as a result. John King,, "Goodbye, San Francisco. Hello, Brandopolis," 30 June 2019 Without wage earners, or when workers’ time and labor are cheapened for easy sale, who will be the market for the products of these industries? Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 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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Statistics for cheapen

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cheapen

The first known use of cheapen was in 1562

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More Definitions for cheapen



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cheapen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheapen

Spanish Central: Translation of cheapen

Nglish: Translation of cheapen for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cheapen

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to be made up of

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