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 The sticker shock at the end of abatement is twofold: The share of the total tax responsibility steadily rises as the abatement drops over time, while the overall tax bill often climbs when the city reassesses the property. New York Times, "The Taxman Cometh for Some Condos," 6 Dec. 2019 The total — well below $100 — was definitely sticker shock, in the best possible way. NBC News, "Everyone's raving about ALDI so I switched for a week. Here's what I found out.," 15 Nov. 2019 Though this knife comes with some sticker shock, the high-quality blade that resists dulling is worth the price. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Survival Knives to Get You Through Any Adventure or Disaster," 16 Sep. 2019 Parlee Cycles The sticker shock is severe at this bike manufacturer in downtown Beverly. Jon Chesto,, "Escalating trade war hits home for many local businesses," 5 Sep. 2019 Savvy travelers can reduce sticker shock with a Wi-Fi subscription. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "How to Make Sure Your In-Flight Wi-Fi Isn’t Terrible," 13 Dec. 2019 Selling capital assets to shore up revenue may not be a great strategy, but hitting a 1.05 trillion rupee ($14.6 billion) asset disposal target is the only way to lower the sticker shock of the budget deficit for the bond market. Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Modi Finds His Inner Thatcher," 23 Nov. 2019 Federal, state and city tax incentives, including a $7,500 federal income tax credit for electric vehicles, could soften the sticker shock. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "With Mustang Mach-E crossover, Ford travels a road less taken," 22 Nov. 2019 Even Netflix is starting to experience sticker shock. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "The Streaming Era Has Finally Arrived. Everything Is About to Change.," 18 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of sticker shock

1981, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sticker shock

Time Traveler for sticker shock

Time Traveler

The first known use of sticker shock was in 1981

See more words from the same year

Statistics for sticker shock

Last Updated

4 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sticker shock.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sticker shock

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sticker shock

Comments on sticker shock

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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