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 Long-term support is very expensive to implement—and Fedora is primarily volunteers who have limited time. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Linux distro review: Fedora Workstation 32," 19 May 2020 No sense, after all, in turning a fancy robot into a very expensive punching bag. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Robot Can Guess How You're Feeling by the Way You Walk," 18 May 2020 But North Carolina already features what will be a very expensive Senate race, and another one would be quite challenging for Republicans. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Republicans fear for Senate majority if Burr resigns and forces NC special election," 15 May 2020 Chip-making giants and their investors understandably like the idea of the U.S. government pitching in on a very expensive business. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "For Chip Makers, Government Involvement Won’t Come Free," 12 May 2020 Guests like Disney’s Bob Iger, Quibi’s Jeffrey Katzenberg and Tina Fey have tuned in lounging on their (very expensive) couches. Los Angeles Times, "Inside Zoom’s exclusive A-list, invite-only, money-raising-juggernaut quarantine party," 4 May 2020 Still ahead are important decisions about how to structure – and who will pay for – the very expensive economic reconstruction efforts required after the coronavirus subsides. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, "Coronavirus response puts EU solidarity to the test," 22 Apr. 2020 Quartzite is less expensive and easier to maintain. Charlotte Safavi, Better Homes & Gardens, "Clever Swaps and Budget-Friendly Fixes Add Major Impact to This 300-Square-Foot Kitchen Makeover," 21 Apr. 2020 Because of the requirement to own a horse or several, horseback field trialing tends to be a very expensive endeavor. Mark Chesnut, Field & Stream, "The Bird Dog Owner’s Guide Walking Field Trials," 15 Apr. 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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expensive. Accessed 2 Jun. 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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