ex·​pen·​sive | \ ik-ˈspen(t)-siv \

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


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


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

My spending habits are surprisingly low for someone who lives in NYC, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "An Entertainment Editor's Impulse Buys: A Roomba, End-of-Year Sales, and $450 on Ice Skating," 9 Jan. 2019 Sure, prices have fallen a lot—putting the S&P in a bear market, down more than 20% from its peak, on an intraday basis—but the U.S. remains by far the most expensive major market. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Tying American Stocks to the Rest of the World," 8 Jan. 2019 And no, these aren't fancy, uber-expensive Christmas lights. Samantha Lefave, Woman's Day, "I Tried a Bunch of Holiday Features on Google's Home Hub and Life Has Never Felt More Manageable," 13 Dec. 2018 What’s left among Microsoft’s list of PC deals this year are generally less-expensive notebooks and desktops with hefty percentage discounts amounting to a couple of hundred dollars or so. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Cyber Monday laptop deals are going fast—here are the best we found," 26 Nov. 2018 Plantronics would be Logitech’s most expensive acquisition to date and bolster the company’s lineup of PC and mobile accessories. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Logitech reportedly wants to buy Plantronics for over $2 billion," 24 Nov. 2018 In this way, the Liesses' show is a return to programs packed with more manageable projects as opposed to highly ambitious (and highly expensive) flips. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About David and Lauren Liess's New DIY Network Show," 6 Nov. 2018 The two most expensive sales during the quarter, penthouses at 520 Park Ave., both went into contract in June of 2017. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Manhattan Apartment Sales in 2018 Sink to Low Hit After Financial Crisis," 29 Dec. 2018 Matt Damon is now officially the owner of a record-breaking penthouse—the most expensive property in Brooklyn, to be exact. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Matt Damon Just Bought The Most Expensive Penthouse In Brooklyn," 28 Dec. 2018

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

19 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for expensive

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

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English Language Learners Definition of expensive

: costing a lot of money


ex·​pen·​sive | \ ik-ˈspen-siv \

Kids Definition of expensive

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