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See more synonyms for expensive on Thesaurus.com
  1. entailing great expense; very high-priced; costly: an expensive party.
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Origin of expensive

First recorded in 1620–30; expense + -ive
Related formsex·pen·sive·ly, adverbex·pen·sive·ness, nounqua·si-ex·pen·sive, adjectivequa·si-ex·pen·sive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedexpansive expensive (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for expensive

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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.

Antonyms for expensive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for expensive

costly, fancy, high, lavish, valuable, extravagant, overpriced, pricey, upscale, dear, excessive, exorbitant, holdup, immoderate, inordinate, invaluable, plush, posh, rich, ritzy

Examples from the Web for expensive

Contemporary Examples of expensive

Historical Examples of expensive

British Dictionary definitions for expensive


  1. high-priced; costly; dear
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Derived Formsexpensively, adverbexpensiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for expensive


1620s, "given to profuse expenditure," from expense (n.) + -ive. Meaning "costly" is from 1630s. Earlier was expenseful (c.1600). Expenseless was in use mid-17c.-18c., but there seems nothing now to which it applies, and the dictionaries label it "obsolete."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper