expensive

adjective
ex·​pen·​sive | \ ik-ˈspen(t)-siv How to pronounce expensive (audio) \

Definition of expensive

1 : involving high cost or sacrifice an expensive hobby
2a : commanding a high price and especially one that is not based on intrinsic worth or is beyond a prospective buyer's means
b : characterized by high prices expensive shops

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Other Words from expensive

expensively adverb
expensiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for expensive

Synonyms

big-ticket, costly, dear, extravagant, high, high-end, high-ticket, precious, premium, priceless, pricey (also pricy), spendy [chiefly Northwest], ultraexpensive, valuable

Antonyms

cheap, inexpensive

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Examples of expensive in a Sentence

The lights were expensive to install. expensive clothing that only the truly wealthy can afford

Recent Examples on the Web

That’s the real coup here, as the Oculus Rift S becomes the new baseline Rift instead of an expensive option limited to a small subset of users like the Vive Pro. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Hands-on: The $399 Oculus Rift S kicks off the next gen of PC-based VR by appealing to the masses," 20 Mar. 2019 The fact that the secondary bubble-producing fermentation occurs in a vat instead of individual bottles makes the process, and thus the resulting wine, less expensive; making prosecco a winner for mixing mimosas, but less nuanced to sip solo. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prosecco Isn't the Champagne of Italy, Franciacorta Is," 15 Mar. 2019 Here again, economics limits the choices: the more people involved in carefully distinguishing each type of recyclable, the more expensive the process. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Of course there was a lavish party for the expensive hole in the ground. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Another damning Facebook data-privacy report — and a new lawsuit — sink the social network’s shares," 20 Dec. 2018 Polyester is extremely stain and fade resistant, and is less expensive than other synthetic carpet types. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Best Carpet Types for a Perfectly Grounded Space," 13 Feb. 2019 The challenge is that these elements are not often concentrated in ore deposits, which makes them expensive and unreliable as an extractable resource for domestic use or export. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "We've Found a New Source for Rare-Earth Elements We Need for Green Tech," 7 Mar. 2019 Her team said the doll would be too expensive to make and sell—Handler wanted zippers, darts, real hems, polish, and lipstick. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "There’s Something About Barbie," 7 Mar. 2019 Those who buy into RTX are going to be left with expensive GPUs and nothing to do. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Why you should or shouldn't buy a GeForce RTX laptop," 6 Mar. 2019

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

circa 1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for expensive

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expensive

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

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More Definitions for expensive

expensive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of expensive

: costing a lot of money

expensive

adjective
ex·​pen·​sive | \ ik-ˈspen-siv How to pronounce expensive (audio) \

Kids Definition of expensive

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Comments on expensive

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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