Definition of expense noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    expense

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ɪkˈspens//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪkˈspens//
     
    Economy
     
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the money that you spend on something The garden was transformed at great expense. No expense was spared (= they spent as much money as was needed) to make the party a success. He's arranged everything, no expense spared. She always travels first-class regardless of expense. The results are well worth the expense. Wordfinderafford, bank, bankrupt, capital, economy, expense, finance, invest, money, profit Synonymspricecost value expense worthThese words all refer to the amount of money that you have to pay for something.price the amount of money that you have to pay for an item or service:house prices How much are these? They don’t have a price on them. I can’t afford it at that price.cost the amount of money that you need in order to buy, make or do something:A new computer system has been installed at a cost of £80 000.value how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged:The winner will receive a prize to the value of £1 000. Especially in British English, value can also mean how much something is worth compared with its price:This restaurant is excellent value (= is worth the money it costs).price, cost or value?The price is what somebody asks you to pay for an item or service:to ask/​charge a high price to ask/​charge a high cost/​value. Obtaining or achieving something may have a cost; the value of something is how much other people would be willing to pay for it:house prices the cost of moving house The house now has a market value of one million pounds.expense the money that you spend on something; something that makes you spend money:The garden was transformed at great expense. Running a car is a big expense.worth the financial value of somebody/​something:He has a personal net worth of $10 million. Worth is more often used to mean the practical or moral value of something.Patterns the high price/​cost/​value the real/​true price/​cost/​value/​worth to put/​set a price/​value on something to increase/​reduce the price/​cost/​value/​expense to raise/​double/​lower the price/​cost/​value to cut the price/​cost
  2. 2  [countable, usually singular] something that makes you spend money Running a car is a big expense.
  3. 3  expenses [plural] money spent in doing a particular job, or for a particular purpose living/household/medical/legal, etc. expenses Can I give you something towards expenses? financial help to meet the expenses of an emergency The payments he gets barely cover his expenses. Synonymscostsspending expenditure expenses overheads outlay These are all words for money spent by a government, an organization or a person.costs the total amount of money that needs to be spent by a business:labour/​production costs rising costsspending the amount of money that is spent, especially by a government or an organization:public spending More spending on health was promised.expenditure (rather formal) an amount of money spent by a government, an organization or a person:expenditure on educationexpenses money that has to be spent by a person or an organization; money that you spend while you are working which your employer will pay back to you later:legal expenses travel expensesoverhead(s) the regular costs of running a business or an organization, such as rent, electricity and wages:High overheads mean small profit margins.outlay the money that you have to spend in order to start a new business or project, or in order to save yourself money or time later:The best equipment is costly but is well worth the outlay.Patterns spending/​expenditure/​outlay on something high/​low costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads total costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads/​outlay capital costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​outlay household costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses government/​public/​education/​health costs/​spending/​expenditure to increase/​reduce costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads/​the outlay See related entries: Economy
  4. 4  expenses [plural] money that you spend while you are working and which your employer will pay back to you later You can claim back your travelling/travel expenses. (British English) to take a client out for a meal on expenses an all-expenses-paid trip Synonymscostsspending expenditure expenses overheads outlay These are all words for money spent by a government, an organization or a person.costs the total amount of money that needs to be spent by a business:labour/​production costs rising costsspending the amount of money that is spent, especially by a government or an organization:public spending More spending on health was promised.expenditure (rather formal) an amount of money spent by a government, an organization or a person:expenditure on educationexpenses money that has to be spent by a person or an organization; money that you spend while you are working which your employer will pay back to you later:legal expenses travel expensesoverhead(s) the regular costs of running a business or an organization, such as rent, electricity and wages:High overheads mean small profit margins.outlay the money that you have to spend in order to start a new business or project, or in order to save yourself money or time later:The best equipment is costly but is well worth the outlay.Patterns spending/​expenditure/​outlay on something high/​low costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads total costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads/​outlay capital costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​outlay household costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses government/​public/​education/​health costs/​spending/​expenditure to increase/​reduce costs/​spending/​expenditure/​expenses/​overheads/​the outlay See related entries: Economy
  5. Word Origin late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, alteration of Old French espense, from late Latin expensa (pecunia) ‘(money) spent’, from Latin expendere ‘pay out’, from ex- ‘out’ + pendere ‘weigh, pay’.Extra examples He was given a sum of money to cover his travel expenses. I think we deserve a night out on expenses. Insurance is an ongoing expense. It emerged that they had received free first-class travel at the taxpayer’s expense. Look for a fund with low expenses. Medical expenses can be quite high if you are not insured. Meetings, and the time for them, are a considerable management expense. My expenses are constantly rising and my income stays the same. Net interest expense increased to $5.9 million from $4.1 million. No expense was spared to make the party a success. No expense was spared= they spent as much money as was needed to make the party a success. Operating expenses rose by more than 23% last year. Put the cost of the meal on your expense account. Relocated employees received grants towards incidental expenses like buying carpets. Save the expense of calling out a plumber by learning some of the basics yourself. She had to meet the expense herself. Start keeping track of deductible expenses such as charitable contributions. The accommodation package includes admission to the golf course at no extra expense. The bridge was built at public expense. The garden was transformed at great expense. The guides are unpaid except for basic expenses. The process turned out to be a significant capital expense. They are claiming expenses for travel and meals. They had to repair the damage at their own expense. Total employee expenses were up about 6%. We will recoup our expenses within 24 months. When it came to the wedding, no expense was spared. You can claim back the tax on legitimate business expenses. You can expect to receive compensation for all expenses arising out of the accident. You can reduce your expenses by selling your old car at a good price. You will have to pay income tax on the rent you receive, although you can deduct expenses such as insurance. You will receive expense reimbursement for up to $5 000 for legal representation. Your monthly housing expense should not be greater than 28% of your income. a claim large enough to justify the expense of insurance policy premiums a commercial traveller staying at the hotel on expenses a two-day, all expenses paid trip to London in an effort to reduce expenses and boost profits your ongoing expenses such as your employees’ salaries He’s arranged everything: no expense spared. The real expense of the trip was the flights. We were taken out for a meal at the company’s expense.Idioms
      at somebody’s expense
       
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    1. 1paid for by somebody We were taken out for a meal at the company's expense.
    2. 2if you make a joke at somebody’s expense, you laugh at them and make them feel silly
    at the expense of somebody/something
     
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    with loss or damage to somebody/something He built up the business at the expense of his health. an education system that benefits bright children at the expense of those who are slower to learn
    expense, money, etc. is no object
     
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    used to say that you are willing to spend a lot of money He always travels first class—expense is no object.
    go to the expense of something/of doing something, go to a lot of, etc. expense
     
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    to spend money on something They went to all the expense of redecorating the house and then they moved.
    put somebody to the expense of something/of doing something, put somebody to a lot of, etc. expense
     
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    to make somebody spend money on something Their visit put us to a lot of expense.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: expense