expense

noun
ex·​pense | \ ik-ˈspen(t)s \

Definition of expense

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : the act or an instance of expending : expenditure
2a : something expended to secure a benefit or bring about a result
b : financial burden or outlay : cost built the monument at their own expense
c : an item of business outlay chargeable against revenue for a specific period
3 : a cause or occasion of expenditure an estate is a great expense
4 : a loss, detriment, or embarrassment that results from some action or gain : sacrifice everyone had a good laugh at my expense usually used in the phrase at the expense of develop a boy's physique at the expense of his intelligence— Bertrand Russell

expense

verb
expensed; expensing

Definition of expense (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to charge with expenses
2a : to charge to an expense account
b : to write off as an expense

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Examples of expense in a Sentence

Noun

I don't think a first-class ticket is worth the added expense. The annual fee is simply an expense of doing business. A new car is a major expense.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Once programs can’t cover their expenses, victims will start to feel the effects immediately, sources say. Bryce Covert, Glamour, "“At What Point Do We Have to Start Shutting Down?” Domestic Violence Shelters Struggle to Survive the Government Shutdown," 14 Jan. 2019 As a real-estate broker, Ms. Martinez said gasoline is a big expense for her. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Prices Ticked Lower in December," 11 Jan. 2019 Costa’s runway collections had long been considered a marketing expense as opposed to a means of designing clothes people would actually buy. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 But payments to programmers are a standard expense in any cable TV company's business, and those contribute greatly to the general monthly rates that customers have to pay. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast raises cable TV bills again—even if you’re under contract," 26 Nov. 2018 McClellan was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial cancer in March and the disease eventually spread to her colon, bladder, and intestines, according to a GoFundMe page that was created to offset some of her medical expenses. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Star Beverly McClellan Has Died of Cancer at 49," 1 Nov. 2018 The Duke earns a Royal Navy pension, but his expenses get paid through the Sovereign Grant — a.k.a. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie Do for a Living," 11 Oct. 2018 The uproarious laughter of the two and their having fun at my expense. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "Why Assault Memories are 'Indelible' for Some Survivors and Other Details May Be Lacking," 28 Sep. 2018 According to Barrera, maintaining the district’s more than 180 schools, as well as charter schools and administration facilities, is not a one-time expense. Lauryn Schroeder, sandiegouniontribune.com, "S.D. school district board sends $3.5 billion bond to November ballot," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These days, the mood at ConsenSys is bleak; it’s clear the freewheeling days of expensing $14,000 in two weeks or buying day-of Emirates business-class tickets are over, says a source. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "ConsenSys plans to spin out most of its startups, and it’s going to mean layoffs," 20 Dec. 2018 For the first time, Lyft has become one of the Top 10 most frequently expensed U.S. business costs this quarter, according to new data from online travel and expense software company Certify. Rani Molla, Recode, "One way to track the rise of tech — check the expense reports," 25 Oct. 2018 Palantir fired two employees who expensed lingerie and suits, people familiar with the episode say. Eliot Brown, WSJ, "Palantir Has a $20 Billion Valuation and a Bigger Problem: It Keeps Losing Money," 12 Nov. 2018 Top executives of Wells Fargo Securities earlier this month sent a note to employees clarifying the bank’s policies and spelling out the specific time when meals could be expensed, according to the memo, which was described to the Journal. Coulter Jones, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Fires Bankers Amid Probe of Dinner Receipts That Were Allegedly Doctored," 30 Aug. 2018 The company said in its annual report its capitalization of those costs is limited, and so some of them are expensed as they are incurred. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "Streaming TV or Movie? Why It Matters to Amazon’s Profits," 8 July 2018 Team staffers also receive per diem, although some opt to decline the benefit in order to expense lavish meals. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "The Economics of a Las Vegas Summer League Invite," 12 July 2018 In April, Kevin Cramer expensed $1,152.75 to his campaign for mileage reimbursement during the first three months of 2018, according to federal campaign finance reports. Washington Post, "AP FACT CHECK: Rep. Kevin Cramer did drive 2,300 miles," 3 July 2018 Companies can make a lot of money at that price range and also keep their income up and expenses down. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Q&A: Land broker Stan Creech says land prices are up with oil," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expense.' 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 expense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expense

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin expensa, from Latin, feminine of expensus, past participle of expendere

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Statistics for expense

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expense

The first known use of expense was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for expense

expense

noun

English Language Learners Definition of expense

: the amount of money that is needed to pay for or buy something

: an amount of money that must be spent especially regularly to pay for something

: something on which money is spent

expense

noun
ex·​pense | \ ik-ˈspens \

Kids Definition of expense

1 : something spent or required to be spent : cost
2 : a cause for spending A car can be a great expense.

expense

noun
ex·​pense

Legal Definition of expense

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: financial burden or outlay specifically : an item of business outlay chargeable against revenue for a specific period
business expense
: an expense made in furtherance of one's business especially as part of the cost of operating a business in the taxable year in which the expense is incurred — compare capital expense and personal expense in this entry

Note: Business expenses are generally tax deductible in the year the expense is incurred.

capital expense
: an expense made in a business that will provide a long-term benefit : capital expenditure

Note: Capital expenses are not tax deductible as business expenses but may be used for depreciation or amortization.

moving expense
: an expense incurred in changing one's residence that is tax deductible if incurred for business reasons (as when one's job requires relocation)
ordinary and necessary expense
: an expense that is normal or customary and helpful and appropriate for the operation of a particular business or trade and that is made during the taxable year

called also ordinary and necessary business expense

Note: Ordinary and necessary expenses are tax deductible.

personal expense
: an expense incurred in the course of one's personal affairs as distinguished from the course of one's employment or the operation of a business — compare business expense in this entry

Note: Personal expenses are usually not tax deductible.

expense

transitive verb
expensed; expensing

Legal Definition of expense (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to charge with expenses
2 : to write off as an expense

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Comments on expense

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