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expensive

[ik-spen-siv]
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adjective
  1. entailing great expense; very high-priced; costly: an expensive party.

Origin of expensive

First recorded in 1620–30; expense + -ive
Related formsex·pen·sive·ly, adverbex·pen·sive·ness, nounqua·si-ex·pen·sive, adjectivequa·si-ex·pen·sive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedexpansive expensive (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

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Expensive, costly, dear, high-priced apply to something that is high in price. Expensive is applied to whatever entails considerable expense; it suggests a price more than the average person would normally be able to pay or a price paid only for something special: an expensive automobile. Costly implies that the price is a large sum, usually because of the fineness, preciousness, etc., of the object: a costly jewel. Dear is commonly applied in England to something that is selling beyond its usual or just price. In the U.S., high-priced is the usual equivalent.

Antonyms

cheap, low-priced.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for expensive

expensive

adjective
  1. high-priced; costly; dear
Derived Formsexpensively, adverbexpensiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for expensive

adj.

1620s, "given to profuse expenditure," from expense (n.) + -ive. Meaning "costly" is from 1630s. Earlier was expenseful (c.1600). Expenseless was in use mid-17c.-18c., but there seems nothing now to which it applies, and the dictionaries label it "obsolete."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper