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



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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 The docks used by ZYP were expensive, costing $50,000 per dock. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "When will quick-rent scooters and bikes come to Birmingham?," 12 Feb. 2020 Having to go out of state for fertility treatments and transfers is expensive — and nearly impossible for most working people. Lia De Feo, refinery29.com, "Embracing the Joys of Pregnancy After Loss: My Surrogacy Journey," 12 Feb. 2020 Buybacks are expensive The question revolves around timing. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "3 reasons ballooning stock buybacks are worrisome," 12 Feb. 2020 Those middle-class benefits are expensive, but there is no serious effort among Republicans or Democrats to impose the taxes necessary to pay for them. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Comforting the Comfortable," 10 Feb. 2020 But finding someone to help interpret those results can be expensive when insurance doesn’t cover counseling. Dorothy Pomerantz, STAT, "I was fortunate to get post-23andMe genetic counseling. Everyone should have that option," 7 Feb. 2020 With flooding comes replanting, which is expensive. Autumn Schoolman, Indianapolis Star, "'It keeps getting hotter and wetter': Indiana farmer doesn't need science to tell him climate change is to blame," 4 Feb. 2020 The City Council has repeatedly considered expanding the sprinkler requirement but has backed away because of objections from building owners who said the fixes would be too expensive and would drive up rents. Los Angeles Times, "Fire again hits Westside high-rise, prompting new call to close sprinkler loophole," 30 Jan. 2020 And there's the complaint that [fashion is] so expensive. Deana Bianco, Billboard, "How Celebrity Accessories Designer Kerin Rose Gold Transforms Sunglasses Into Works of Art," 30 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for expensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

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Statistics for expensive

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expensive. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for expensive


How to pronounce expensive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of expensive

: costing a lot of money


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

Kids Definition of expensive

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