SYNONYMS | WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun cost or charge: the expense of a good meal. a cause or occasion of spending: A car can be a great expense. the act of expending; expenditure. expenses, charges incurred during a business assignment or trip. money paid as reimbursement for such charges: to receive a salary and expenses. verb (used with object), ex·pensed, ex·pens·ing. to charge or write off as an expense. verb (used without object), ex·pensed, ex·pens·ing. Idioms at the expense of, at the sacrifice of; to the detriment of: quantity at the expense of quality. Origin of expense 1350–1400; Middle English
Late Latin expēnsa,
noun use of feminine of
past participle of
expend Related forms ex·pense·less, adjective pre·ex·pense, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for at the expense of noun a particular payment of money; expenditure money needed for individual purchases; cost; charge (plural) incidental money spent in the performance of a job, commission, etc, usually reimbursed by an employer or allowable against tax something requiring money for its purchase or upkeep the car was more of an expense than he had expected at the expense of to the detriment of he succeeded at the expense of his health verb (tr) US and Canadian to treat as an expense for book-keeping or tax purposes Word Origin for expense
C14: from Late Latin
expēnsa, from Latin expēnsus weighed out; see expend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for at the expense of n.
late 14c., from Anglo-French
expense, Old French espense "money provided for expenses," from Late Latin expensa "disbursement, outlay, expense," noun use of neuter plural past participle of Latin expendere "to weigh out money, to pay down" (see expend).
spensa also yielded Medieval Latin spe(n)sa, whose sense specialized to "outlay for provisions," then "provisions, food," which was borrowed into Old High German as spisa and is the root of German Speise "food," now mostly meaning prepared food, and speisen "to eat." v.
expense (n.). Related: Expensed; expensing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with at the expense of 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]
see at the expense of; go to the trouble (expense); money (expense) is no object.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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