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


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


cheap, inexpensive

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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

Some metros are too expensive for all teachers The list of metro areas that are never affordable for teachers is mostly unsurprising. USA Today, "'Can't pay their bills with love': For many teaching jobs, teachers' pay can't cover rent," 5 June 2019 On Wednesday, Indiana had the 18th most expensive gas in the nation with an average price of $2.81 per gallon. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Gas prices and tariffs: Why gas dropping under $2 a gallon might cost you," 5 June 2019 Prices, too, have not been raised a cent even though the new location sits in some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "New Original Ninfa’s set to open in Uptown June 10," 5 June 2019 Attire was the biggest purchase for 32% of recent bridal party members, with a bachelor or bachelorette party trailing closely behind as the second most expensive purchase at 29%. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Survey Finds Bridal Party Expenses Can Put Serious Damper on Friendships," 5 June 2019 Tariffs on olive oil likely would prompt consumers and manufacturers to substitute less expensive seed oils, Monroe said. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore's Pompeian joins olive oil industry to protest tariffs on European imports," 4 June 2019 In particular, the GOP is attacking the program intended to save people from catastrophic climate change as too expensive. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Jr. Prompted an "AOC Sucks!" Chant at President Donald Trump's Michigan Rally," 29 Mar. 2019 The smaller, less expensive Huawei Matebook 13 appears to have solved some of these flaws, while still keeping the best features of Huawei’s premium device, including a discrete GPU. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: Huawei's Matebook 13 shrinks the Matebook X Pro into a 'Whiskey Lake'-powered laptop," 7 Jan. 2019 Getty ImagesPool/Samir Hussein Crete Wicker Clutch Kayu shopbop.com $218.07 Shop Now The least expensive item? Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Here's What Meghan Markle's Bags Cost This Year, If You Want to Copy Her Style," 2 Jan. 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.

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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

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for expensive

The first known use of expensive was circa 1610

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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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