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

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

But at UMass Dartmouth, the least expensive campus, students will pay $329 more, or a total of $13,496 for the new school year, according to UMass. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Tuition at UMass system to increase by 2.5 percent," 14 July 2018 The latest automaker to promise an electric car that's excessively fast, luxurious, rare, and expensive, is Pininfarina-Automobili. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "Pininfarina's Back With a $2 Million Electric Hypercar," 14 July 2018 Yancy is just one of many parents who still don’t know where their children are, and families like hers will now have to navigate a messy, potentially expensive bureaucratic process to get Darlin back. Sarah Kinosian, Teen Vogue, "Reunification Proves Complicated for Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 14 July 2018 Some have said expensive internet here is one reason why. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s last 2 Blockbuster stores are closing, leaving just one in the U.S.," 13 July 2018 For Hodalis Gaytan, 20, living with Type 1 diabetes means depending on an assortment of expensive medicines and devices to stay healthy. Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, Washington Post, "Retooled Vaccine Raises Hopes As A Lower-Cost Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes," 13 July 2018 Some have credited expensive internet as a factor in keeping the Alaska locations open longer than most stores. Joel Shannon, ajc, "There are 3 Blockbuster stores left in the US; soon it will be 1," 13 July 2018 Karius remains under fire following his high profile errors in the Champions League final in May, while Liverpool have met difficulty in the transfer market after being heavily linked with very expensive Roma and Brazil stopper Alisson. SI.com, "Jurgen Klopp Turns to Surprise Contender as He Looks for New Liverpool Number One Goalkeeper," 13 July 2018 One example Pecora gave on how Cota’s technology can help manage cost is through an expensive genetic test that can cost breast cancer patients $4,000. Lindsay Carlton, Fox News, "Data sharing company helps improve cancer patient outcomes, reduce total cost of care," 13 July 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

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expensive

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

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More Definitions for expensive



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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