[ ik-spen-siv ]
See synonyms for expensive on Thesaurus.com
  1. entailing great expense; very high-priced; costly: an expensive party.

Origin of expensive

First recorded in 1620–30; expense + -ive

synonym study For expensive

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.

Opposites for expensive

Other words from expensive

  • ex·pen·sive·ly, adverb
  • ex·pen·sive·ness, noun
  • qua·si-ex·pen·sive, adjective
  • qua·si-ex·pen·sive·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with expensive

Words Nearby expensive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use expensive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for expensive


/ (ɪkˈspɛnsɪv) /

  1. high-priced; costly; dear

Derived forms of expensive

  • 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