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 Building a custom and first-of-its-kind manufacturing line is very expensive and also very risky. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, "Last Week’s Big Technology Reveal: PsiQuantum’s Previously Secret Q1 Photonic Quantum Computer With Globalfoundries," 10 May 2021 Earbuds that offer active noise cancellation are expensive but even safer, audiologists say. Julie Jargon, WSJ, "How to Protect Kids’ Ears From Headphone-Related Hearing Loss," 8 May 2021 But those types of elections can be expensive unless they are consolidated with other contests, such as the upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, "Is Garcetti going? Los Angeles waits with uncertainty as city faces major crossroads," 8 May 2021 These could be expensive, costing as much as 3 pounds. Martha Saxton, The Conversation, "Mary Ball Washington, George’s single mother, often gets overlooked – but she’s well worth saluting," 7 May 2021 Check-cashing services can be expensive, but may be more convenient than using a bank, especially after normal business hours when tellers (and postal clerks) are off duty. Marc Joffe, National Review, "Progressive ‘Postal Banking’ Proposal: A Solution in Search of a Problem," 6 May 2021 But the systems are expensive, and a hospital that buys one would also have to install a system of pipes to deliver the oxygen to bedsides. New York Times, "Why Some Hospitals Lack the Oxygen to Keep Patients Alive," 4 May 2021 Galaxy Folds and Flips are expensive, but Samsung is already working on lowering prices and extending trial periods. Chris Smith, BGR, "New Galaxy Z Fold 3 leak may reveal a big upgrade you weren’t expecting," 3 May 2021 Founders Roushan and Tony Christofellis wondered, while eating Caesar salad at a fancy steakhouse, why healthy food was often expensive. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Salad and Go brings low-priced drive-through food to Texas, starting in Plano," 3 May 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expensive. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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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