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at the expense of

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Also, at one's expense.

1

Paid for by someone, as in The hotel bill for the sales force is at the expense of the company. [Mid-1600s]

2

To the detriment or injury of a person or thing, as in We can't speed up production at the expense of quality, or The laughter was all at Tom's expense. [Late 1600s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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