[ ik-spens ]
/ ɪkˈspɛns /
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See synonyms for: expense / expenses on Thesaurus.com

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.
  1. charges incurred during a business assignment or trip.
  2. 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.
to be expensed.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Idioms about expense

    at the expense of, at the sacrifice of; to the detriment of: quantity at the expense of quality.

Origin of expense

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Late Latin expēnsa, noun use of feminine of expēnsus, past participle of expendere “to weigh out, pay”; see expend

synonym study for expense

1. See price.


ex·pense·less, adjectivepre·ex·pense, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use expense in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for expense

/ (ɪkˈspɛns) /

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 upkeepthe car was more of an expense than he had expected
at the expense of to the detriment ofhe succeeded at the expense of his health
(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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with expense


see at the expense of; go to the trouble (expense); money (expense) is no object.

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