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

The thinness of modern smartphones is cosmetic and arbitrary, often coming at the direct expense of the most important feature a phone can have: battery life. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "The Samsung Galaxy Fold Is a Thick Boy, Just Not in the Way You Actually Need," 20 Feb. 2019 Try to find room among these expenses—like Starbucks runs and Spotify—to add monthly charitable donations into the mix. Linda Davis Taylor, SELF, "How to Use Money as an Extension of Your Political Voice," 6 Nov. 2018 As usual, Netflix spared no expense in campaigning for this moment. John Koblin, New York Times, "Emmy Nominations 2018: ‘Game of Thrones’ and Netflix Lead the Way," 13 July 2018 Others aim to help people appeal against parking tickets or draw up rental leases without incurring legal expenses. The Economist, "Law firms climb aboard the AI wagon," 12 July 2018 Many inspectors wouldn’t be paid, and the FDA is working to enable them to charge travel expenses to the agency rather have them incur charges on personal credit cards. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "U.S. Food Inspections Slow Amid Government Shutdown," 9 Jan. 2019 Parents and children should be reunited.’’ The judge directed the U.S. to cover the cost of all reunifications after the ACLU asserted that families were being forced to pay for travel expenses and DNA tests to prove parentage. Kartikay Mehrotra, BostonGlobe.com, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 The page had raised more than $43,000 for Tiran Jackson's medical and travel expenses as of Tuesday afternoon. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "One U.S. tourist dead and others severely injured after Bahamas tour boat exploded," 3 July 2018 The continuous care and travel expenses for each comfort dog in the ministry is paid by donations from church and community members. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Downtown Trinity Lutheran Church offers 'Peace' through trained Golden Retriever," 1 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

28 Feb 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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