expense

noun
ex·​pense | \ ik-ˈspen(t)s How to pronounce expense (audio) \

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

Couriers are required to apply as independent contractors so the companies can avoid expenses and taxes associated with full-time work. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Food-Delivery Couriers Exploit Desperate Migrants in France," 16 June 2019 It will be viewed more suspiciously, which keeps the public from understanding how tirelessly owners, trainers and others work and spare no expense to try to prevent horse fatalities from occurring. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "As horses keep dying on the track, the industry is left to answer impossible questions," 13 June 2019 The Eisenman family is seeking damages for loss of support, loss of inheritance, funeral expenses and court costs, among other things. NBC News, "Carnival Cruise Line accused of refusing to let a dying man off a ship to get medical care," 13 June 2019 Total costs, including capital expenses and water purchases, will go up by about $1.2 million compared to 2018-19. Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Helix Water District board approves 2019-20 budget," 12 June 2019 The fact that Ortiz is a national hero there (not to mention in New England and elsewhere in the U.S.) makes it even more likely law enforcement will spare no expense to unravel what happened. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "David Ortiz Shooting Doesn't Look Like an Attempted Robbery," 10 June 2019 Consumers can choose from several different tax-filing programs, all produced at no expense to taxpayers. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Congress drops proposal to ban the IRS from competing with Turbotax," 7 June 2019 The Our Family Wizard app simplifies the logistics by allowing shared access to the parenting schedule as well as expenses and payments. Andrea Barbalich, Woman's Day, "5 Apps To Help You Through Divorce," 5 June 2019 Kylie Jenner spared no expense on her lifelike costume for boyfriend Travis Scott's 28th birthday party yesterday. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Dressed Up as "Captain Lip Kit" for Travis Scott's Birthday Party," 26 Apr. 2019

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

20 Jun 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 How to pronounce expense (audio) \

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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