Definition of expensive in English:


See synonyms for expensive

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  • Costing a lot of money.

    ‘keeping a horse is expensive’
    • ‘an expensive bottle of wine’
    • ‘The bargains will prove to be very expensive if you have to pay interest on the money you spent.’
    • ‘Prices of the more expensive properties have stopped going up and some are on their way down.’
    • ‘These courses are very expensive, due to the variety of resources needed to run them.’
    • ‘A new kitchen can be one of the most expensive home improvements most people will make.’
    • ‘Suing a supplier based overseas can be difficult, expensive and take a lot of time.’
    • ‘New woodland planting need not be expensive when the full range of grants are utilised.’
    • ‘For a man famous for running a tight ship, this could be a painfully expensive exercise.’
    • ‘This is prime real estate in one of the most expensive cities in the world.’
    • ‘December is not an expensive month to fly, as long as you avoid the week before Christmas.’
    • ‘The banks say it would be too expensive to speed things up and, in any case, there is no demand for it.’
    • ‘The short season is only one reason why asparagus is expensive to grow and produce.’
    • ‘Irrigation is too expensive to be worthwhile for most crops, so we could do with a bit of rain.’
    • ‘There seems to be a failure to understand just how expensive it is to run a teaching hospital.’
    • ‘We want to revise and update the council tax with more bands for the more expensive houses.’
    • ‘There was a swimming pool in the grounds, but apparently it was too expensive to fill.’
    • ‘It's a defeat that could prove to be extremely expensive come the end of the season.’
    • ‘He said the charges were too expensive and would keep visitors away from the palace.’
    • ‘Their philosophy is never say no to a man if his car is more expensive than yours.’
    • ‘More expensive water will provide an incentive to be more thrifty in how it is used.’
    • ‘We own a buy-to-let property which we want to sell in order to buy a more expensive one.’
    costly, dear, high-priced, high-cost, big-budget, exorbitant, extortionate, overpriced
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/ikˈspensiv/ /ɪkˈspɛnsɪv/


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘lavish, extravagant’): from Latin expens- ‘paid out’, from the verb expendere (see expend), + -ive.