Definition of cheap adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tʃiːp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tʃiːp//
    (cheaper, cheapest) Describing unpleasant traits, Cost and payment
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    low price
  1. 1  costing little money or less money than you expected synonym inexpensive cheap fares Personal computers are cheap and getting cheaper. Cycling is a cheap way to get around. The printer isn't exactly cheap at £200. immigrant workers, used as a source of cheap labour (= workers who are paid very little, especially unfairly) A good education is not cheap. (British English) Calls cost 36p a minute cheap rate. Synonymscheapcompetitive budget affordable reasonable inexpensiveThese words all describe a product or service that costs little money or less money than you expected.cheap costing little money or less money than you expected; charging low prices. Cheap can also be used in a disapproving way to suggest that something is poor quality as well as low in price:a bottle of cheap perfume.competitive (of prices, goods or services) as cheap as or cheaper than those offered by other companies; able to offer goods or services at competitive prices.budget [only before noun] (used especially in advertising) cheap because it offers only a basic level of service.affordable cheap enough for most people to afford.reasonable (of prices) not too expensive.inexpensive (rather formal) cheap. Inexpensive is often used to mean that something is good value for its price. It is sometimes used instead of cheap, because cheap can suggest that something is poor quality.Patterns cheap/​competitive/​budget/​affordable/​reasonable prices/​fares/​rates cheap/​competitive/​budget/​affordable/​inexpensive products/​services see also dirt cheap opposite expensive See related entries: Cost and payment
  2. 2  charging low prices a cheap restaurant/hotel a cheap taxi firm (British English) We found a cheap and cheerful cafe (= one that is simple and charges low prices but is pleasant). opposite expensive
  3. poor quality
  4. 3  (disapproving) low in price and quality cheap perfume/jewellery/shoes (British English) a cheap and nasty bottle of wine
  5. unkind
  6. 4unpleasant or unkind and rather obvious I was tired of his cheap jokes at my expense. a comedian who is always looking for cheap laughs to score a cheap political advantage See related entries: Describing unpleasant traits
  7. low status
  8. 5(disapproving) having a low status and therefore not deserving respect He's just a cheap crook. His treatment of her made her feel cheap (= ashamed, because she had lost her respect for herself).
  9. not generous
  10. 6(North American English) (British English mean) (informal, disapproving) not liking to spend money Don't be so cheap!
  11. Word Originlate 15th cent.: from an obsolete phrase good cheap ‘a good bargain’, from Old English cēap ‘bargaining, trade’, based on Latin caupo ‘small trader, innkeeper’.Extra examples It’s a good restaurant, and incredibly cheap. Shoes like that don’t come cheap. The bag looks cheap and nasty. The glasses are plain without looking cheap. The school managed to get a couple of computers on the cheap. They’re selling fabrics cheap this week. a brand new radio going cheap A quality pair of Italian shoes doesn’t come cheap. Don’t be so cheap! He was so generous he made the other guests look cheap. He’s just trying to score a cheap political advantage. He’s so cheap, he’d never fly to London in a million years. His treatment of her made her feel cheap. I was tired of her cheap jokes at my expense. It was just a bottle of cheap perfume. Italy was a very cheap country to visit in those days. She was just too cheap to buy a real present. The market has been flooded with cheap imports. The printer isn’t exactly cheap at £200. The room was filled with the smell of cheap perfume. The skirt was dirt cheap. The town is full of immigrant workers, used as a source of cheap labour. They’re offering incredibly cheap fares to Eastern Europe. They’ve got brand new CD players going cheap. We brought a few cheap and nasty bottles of wine home from holiday. We found a cheap and cheerful cafe. a cheap floozy/​tart/​whore The watch was suspiciously cheap; it was probably a fake. cheap and nasty products with brand names you’ve never heard ofIdioms
    cheap at the price (also cheap at twice the price) (British English also cheap at half the price)
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    so good or useful that the cost does not seem too much To buy all the recommended equipment is expensive, but as an investment for the future it is cheap at the price.
    (disapproving) used to say that there is a situation in which it is not thought to be important if people somewhere die or are treated badly spending less money than you usually need to spend to do something a guide to decorating your house on the cheap to acquire valuable works of art on the cheap
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cheap