- costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive: a cheap dress.
- costing little labor or trouble: Words are cheap.
- charging low prices: a very cheap store.
- of little account; of small value; mean; shoddy: cheap conduct; cheap workmanship.
- embarrassed; sheepish: He felt cheap about his mistake.
- obtainable at a low rate of interest: when money is cheap.
- of decreased value or purchasing power, as currency depreciated due to inflation.
- stingy; miserly: He's too cheap to buy his own brother a cup of coffee.
- at a low price; at small cost: He is willing to sell cheap.
- cheap at twice the price, exceedingly inexpensive: I found this old chair for eight dollars—it would be cheap at twice the price.
- on the cheap, Informal. inexpensively; economically: She enjoys traveling on the cheap.
Origin of cheap
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cheaply
Through his company, consumers will be able to cheaply make custom DNA strands, including what Heinz calls “creatures.”Design Your Own Dinosaur: The Era of Custom DNA
January 8, 2015
“Red is really hard to do cheaply, so [high-end] designers love it,” Atkinson says.Scarlet Is the New Black
August 31, 2014
Maybe this is because they don't realize how cheaply they can acquire bare-bones coverage.Are Young, Single Adults Expecting Obamacare to Cost So Much?
June 4, 2013
Even the Obama administration is making it easier for women who want to breastfeed to do so cheaply.Breastfeeding Shows Steady Growth Vs. Formula, According to CDC
February 9, 2013
As was the case with so many other businesses, it turned out that machines could do the job more quickly and cheaply.NYSE’s Sale to ICE: Sign of the Times
December 20, 2012
You may be sure the Indians were glad to be rid of them so cheaply.The Trail Book
Blanche had spoken to her of the big shops where things could be bought so cheaply.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
But we were not to be driven away very suddenly nor cheaply.Three Years in the Federal Cavalry
But in this case, what counts is that dollar-exchange can be cheaply bought in London.Elements of Foreign Exchange
At all events we 'd have higgled about the cost, and tried to get there as cheaply as might be.Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I.
Charles James Lever
- costing relatively little; inexpensive; good value
- charging low pricesa cheap hairdresser
- of poor quality; shoddycheap furniture; cheap and nasty
- worth relatively littlepromises are cheap
- not worthy of respect; vulgar
- ashamed; embarrassedto feel cheap
- stingy; miserly
- informal mean; despicablea cheap liar
- cheap as chips See chip (def. 11)
- dirt cheap informal extremely inexpensive
- on the cheap British informal at a low cost
- at very little cost
Word Origin and History for cheaply
"low in price, that may be bought at small cost," c.1500, ultimately from Old English noun ceap "traffic, a purchase," from ceapian (v.) "trade," probably from an early Germanic borrowing from Latin caupo "petty tradesman, huckster" (see chapman).
The sense evolution is from the noun meaning "a barter, a purchase" to "a purchase as rated by the buyer," hence adjectival meaning "inexpensive," the main modern sense, via Middle English phrases such as god chep "favorable bargain" (12c., a translation of French a bon marché).
Sense of "lightly esteemed, common" is from 1590s (cf. similar evolution of Latin vilis). The meaning "low in price" was represented in Old English by undeor, literally "un-dear" (but deop ceap, literally "deep cheap," meant "high price").
The word also was used in Old English for "market" (cf. ceapdæg "market day"), a sense surviving in place names Cheapside, East Cheap, etc. Related: Cheaply. Expression on the cheap is first attested 1888. Cheap shot originally was U.S. football jargon for a head-on tackle; extended sense "unfair hit" in politics, etc. is by 1970. German billig "cheap" is from Middle Low German billik, originally "fair, just," with a sense evolution via billiger preis "fair price," etc.
Idioms and Phrases with cheaply
In addition to the idioms beginning with cheap
- cheap at twice the price
- cheap shot
- cheap skate
- dirt cheap
- on the cheap