expensive

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from expensive

expensively adverb
expensiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for expensive

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

cheap, inexpensive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 prospect of new tariffs, which many executives see as a worst-case scenario, is prompting the complex and expensive administrative haul. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Plan for Tariffs, More Paperwork in Case of ‘No-Deal’ Brexit," 28 Jan. 2019 Like the less expensive pair, the extra warm leggings are offered in three different colors: gray, white, and black. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Alexander Wang x Uniqlo Is Here With Your New Favorite Leggings," 9 Nov. 2018 Feature film work may be ILM’s bread and butter, but with television shows becoming increasingly more complex and expensive, moving into that space will allow the company to add an additional revenue stream to its business. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Industrial Light & Magic opens TV division just in time for Disney’s new Star Wars show," 7 Nov. 2018 Unsurprisingly, all three of Amazon’s headquarter cities are much more expensive than the U.S. average by most measures. Rani Molla, Recode, "How Amazon’s proposed HQ2 and HQ3 locations compare with Seattle and the U.S. overall," 6 Nov. 2018 That’s apparently one where most systems (except the most expensive ones) sport cool-white paneling and woodlike accents. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Sorry, gamers: Acer's ConceptD PCs are powerful, quiet, and cool, but made for creators," 12 Apr. 2019 Fair Uphill mowing: Good | Sidehill mowing: Fair | Bagging: Outstanding The test’s most expensive mower is the ultimate homeowner’s ride. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers," 11 Apr. 2019 But that one carat is likely the most expensive diamond on the market. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Jennifer Lopez's Pink Diamond Made Her an Engagement Ring Influencer," 23 Mar. 2019 Today, The Economist Intelligence Unit named those cities as the most expensive in the world. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "These Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities," 19 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of expensive

circa 1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about expensive

Statistics for expensive

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expensive

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for expensive

expensive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of expensive

: costing a lot of money

expensive

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

Kids Definition of expensive

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on expensive

What made you want to look up expensive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!