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

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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 Both teams rose above the stupidity of Major League Baseball’s latest effort to cheapen its tradition and created some drama. Los Angeles Times, "Column: This season’s first taste of Dodgers-Padres drama has everyone wanting more," 17 Apr. 2021 How could someone cheapen the experiences of those who had suffered real pain? Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Identity Hoaxers," 16 Mar. 2021 What’s Going On for its political purposes cheapen black American sense and sensuality. Armond White, National Review, "Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On Is a Political Decoy," 30 Sep. 2020 Blank switches and hard plastics cheapen the experience here. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Honda Civic Si vs. Kia Forte GT vs. VW Jetta GLI," 28 Oct. 2020 Advances in computing technology can also simplify, cheapen, and accelerate the plant-modeling process through high-tech simulations. Christopher Barnard, National Review, "How the Private Sector Is Shaping the Future of Nuclear Energy," 16 Sep. 2020 Neighbors also worried that quick turnover in the commercial area of the Village could cheapen their property. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, "Proposed development could set precedent for commercial development in west Carmel," 16 June 2020 Kaepernick’s protest — first sitting, then kneeling, during the anthem — and his subsequent excommunication from the NFL, sowed division among the league’s fans and, in the eyes of many, cheapened this weekend’s statement. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "Years later, groundswell of sports figures and institutions follow Kaepernick's lead," 31 May 2020 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

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

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cheapen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on cheapen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cheapen

Nglish: Translation of cheapen for Spanish Speakers

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