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[ik-spen-siv] /ɪkˈspɛn sɪv/
entailing great expense; very high-priced; costly:
an expensive party.
Origin of expensive
First recorded in 1620-30; expense + -ive
Related forms
expensively, adverb
expensiveness, noun
quasi-expensive, adjective
quasi-expensively, adverb
Can be confused
expansive, expensive (see synonym study at the current entry)
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.
cheap, low-priced. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for expensiveness
Historical Examples
  • This in some measure banished luxury and expensiveness from these feasts.

  • Tournaments were also interdicted on account of their expensiveness.

  • A diagram at once shows its awkwardness, expensiveness, and undesirability.

    Dramatic Technique

    George Pierce Baker
  • There was therefore no basis for a growth of taste in disregard of expensiveness.

  • Another dubious point is Oswald's argument in the first act as to the expensiveness of marriage as compared with free union.

    Ghosts Henrik Ibsen
  • At the delicatessen he bought preposterous stores of food, chosen on the principle of expensiveness.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • Then Mr. Hawkins proceeded to furnish it with an expensiveness and extravagance of outlay quite in keeping with his former idiocy.

  • I don't know but I might make one among them myself, now and then, if it was not for the expensiveness of hiring of a horse.'

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • On account of the expensiveness of butter, there are a number of substitutes sold, which go under the name of oleomargarine.

    A Handbook of Health

    Woods Hutchinson
  • Already I had begun to note the expensiveness of stamps, laundry work, omnibus fares, and such matters.

    The Message Alec John Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for expensiveness


high-priced; costly; dear
Derived Forms
expensively, adverb
expensiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for expensiveness



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
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