Meaning of at someone's expense in English:

at someone's expense


  • 1Paid for by someone.

    ‘the document was printed at the taxpayer's expense’
    • ‘A private company, subsidised by the taxpayer, is given a license to print money at our expense.’
    • ‘These privileged persons arrive with families and hangers-on in helicopters, which land them at a helipad near the Park entrance, all at the taxpayer's expense.’
    • ‘Politicians last night dismissed suggestions that a new service giving MPs special access to a London medical centre was queue-jumping at the taxpayer's expense.’
    • ‘Others include tax breaks and major infrastructure projects - such as road-building, at the taxpayer's expense.’
    • ‘It seems very likely, one way or another, that lawyers will make money from this at the taxpayer's expense.’
    • ‘It is especially onerous for them to do this at the taxpayer's expense.’
    • ‘The document requires the architect to modify contract documents, at the architect's expense, if bids exceed the owner's budget.’
    • ‘The trade commission opens an investigation and demands the physician group turn over thousands of pages of documents at the group's expense.’
    • ‘Where the ministers see opportunities, though, many taxpayers simply see junkets and jamborees - at their expense.’
    • ‘It is an invitation to the courts to rule that prisoners are entitled to expensive education at the taxpayer's expense.’
    1. 1.1With someone as the victim, especially of a joke.
      ‘my friends all had a good laugh at my expense’
      • ‘Dan had made a joke at my expense and everyone was laughing.’
      • ‘He seemed to be laughing himself silly at some of the jokes at his expense, but it may be that he's a good enough actor to fake enjoyment.’
      • ‘He used the opportunity to joke at the city 's expense.’
      • ‘What started out as a convenient short-cut for the writers has become a running joke, at the show's expense.’
      • ‘The suspicion lingered with him that someone was making a joke at his expense.’
      • ‘She always thought that I was the one using wordplay to make a joke at her expense.’
      • ‘My week had been much too awful to accept his making a joke of me and having a laugh at my expense.’
      • ‘Now here's something funny - at least according to my wife, who loves to laugh at my expense: I didn't get the world's funniest joke.’
      • ‘I was really glad that someone out there was having a laugh at my expense, because if this was some sick cosmic joke then it was by no means funny.’
      • ‘He told police that some of his children changed their last name to avoid the jokes being made at their expense.’