sticker shock


Definition of sticker shock

: astonishment and dismay experienced on being informed of a product's unexpectedly high price

Examples of sticker shock in a Sentence

We left the store suffering severe sticker shock.
Recent Examples on the Web These hefty price tags may be familiar to pet owners who have experienced the sticker shock of an astronomical vet bill. Boone Ashworth, Wired, "Pet Prosthetics Get a Boost From 3D Printing," 21 Dec. 2020 Sure, the price tag packs a little sticker shock, but for a tool that’s essentially a top-of-the-line hair dryer and curler all in one, and provides a salon-quality result? Emmy Favilla, CNN Underscored, "We tried the $549 Dyson Airwrap and were seriously impressed," 18 Dec. 2020 And then, of course, there's the sky-high prices that are high enough to give even the biggest cleaning enthusiast a bit of sticker shock. Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "You can get a Dyson vacuum for just under $200—but only for today," 13 Dec. 2020 Medical bills are the ones with the biggest sticker shock. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Andy Larsen: How I sent a tweet that unintentionally raised $50,000 for charity," 25 Nov. 2020 Don’t let the sticker shock scare you because this experience is well worth the price. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "This Resort Is Offering a $50,000 Sunset Yacht Ride and It Comes With Caviar and an Underwater Museum Visit," 25 Oct. 2020 The sticker shock caused complaints of price gouging to pour into the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which at the end of March and beginning of April was receiving 100 complaints per week. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Grocery prices are down from their COVID-19 summer peaks. But here’s why your food bills are still stubbornly high.," 22 Oct. 2020 And Republican support for a $1.5 trillion tax cut in 2017 and a $2.2 trillion pandemic relief bill this past spring has helped reduce sticker shock over 13-figure cost estimates. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "How Failures of the Obama-Era Stimulus Could Guide a Biden Administration," 19 Oct. 2020 Other than the prices of groceries, which will inspire sticker shock and the maximum amount of prize money ($100,000), no notable changes have been made to the game itself. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "'Supermaket Sweep' hopes to get you swept into the fun," 18 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sticker shock.' 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 sticker shock

1981, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sticker shock was in 1981

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Cite this Entry

“Sticker shock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for sticker shock

sticker shock


English Language Learners Definition of sticker shock

US : a feeling of surprise and disappointment caused by learning that something you want to buy is very expensive

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