Definition of cheap in English:

cheap

Line breaks: cheap
Pronunciation: /tʃiːp
 
/

adjective

1Low in price, especially in relation to similar items or services: local buses were reliable and cheap
More example sentences
  • There is a huge difference between an online bookmaker and a firm who offer services in cheap flights, car hire and internet cafés.
  • That could, in turn, cause prices of oil to slump to the detriment of the Saudi economy and its ability to provide cheap public services.
  • I've read most of it so can strongly recommend books like this that detail the places to visit, cost and includes tips on where to go for great service and a cheap deal.
1.1Charging low prices: a cheap restaurant
More example sentences
  • Some coffee shops and cheap restaurants were open, and even the city's double-decker public buses were moving in very light traffic.
  • It's not a cheap restaurant, and nor does it need to be.
  • Its restaurants were good and cheap and its pubs overpopulated.
1.2Inexpensive because of inferior quality: cheap, shoddy goods
More example sentences
  • We may well be starting to develop a taste for better coffee, but only 30 per cent of the beans we import are quality arabica, the rest being cheap, inferior robusta.
  • In addition, cheap, inferior food which floods into this country from abroad undercuts quality home produce and increases the downward pressure on farm gate prices.
  • That is, that it's providing cheap labor instead of quality, but more expensive labor.
Synonyms
poor-quality, second-rate, third-rate, substandard, low-grade, inferior, common, vulgar, shoddy, trashy, rubbishy, tawdry, tinny, brassy, worthless, meretricious, cheap and nasty, cheapjack, gimcrack, Brummagem, pinchbeck
informal cheapo, junky, tacky, kitsch, not up to much
British informal naff, duff, ropy, grotty, rubbish, twopenny-halfpenny
North American informal a dime a dozen, tinhorn, two-bit, dime-store
British vulgar slang crap, crappy
North American vulgar slang chickenshit
archaic trumpery
2Of little worth because achieved in a discreditable way requiring little effort: her moment of cheap triumph
More example sentences
  • Finally he did achieve a cheap tabloid immortality, but this CD won't raise his status.
  • The cheap thrills aren't worth the self-inflicted lobotomy one must perform to enjoy them.
  • It hurts, but now I just remind myself that they don't know anything about me, and that I am worth more than their cheap laughs.
2.1Deserving contempt: a cheap trick
More example sentences
  • She deserves and should expect nothing but ridicule for this newest cheap trick.
  • How are we supposed to teach our kids about sportsmanship and fair play if this coach constantly gets away with his cheap tricks and abusive behavior?
  • There is something strangely mesmerising about a snake-charmer's snake but, at the end of the day, you realise it is just another cheap trick.
2.2North American informal Miserly: she’s too cheap to send me a postcard
More example sentences
  • The answer is they are greedy and cheap, just like the executives of the supermarket.
  • He is nothing but a cheap penny-pincher who has gone out of his way to alienate himself from Chicago fans.
  • I've got an etiquette question because I can't decide if I'm being cheap and greedy or thoroughly modern.

adverb

Back to top  
At or for a low price: a house that was going cheap because of the war
More example sentences
  • Ah - there's an idea… pork joints going cheap for Christmas anyone?
  • Gary spotted electric trimmers going cheap and brought them home, so both he and Lewis ended up with really short cuts.
  • However, at just under €400,000 before tax and transport costs, it could be a while before you see any going cheap.

Origin

late 15th century: from an obsolete phrase good cheap 'a good bargain', from Old English cēap 'bargaining, trade', based on Latin caupo 'small trader, innkeeper'.

Phrases

cheap and cheerful

British Simple and inexpensive.
More example sentences
  • They want something that is cheap and cheerful that does the job.
  • It seems that everyone involved has forgotten the golden rule for success in promoting any entertainment business - the customer is always right and the customer wants it cheap and cheerful, which a single channel could deliver.
  • GM crops can increase productivity, improve crop quality and end the reliance on chemical pesticides; they are cheap and cheerful, need little maintenance and protect the crops' gene bank.

cheap and nasty

British Of low cost and bad quality: the materials can seem a bit cheap and nasty
More example sentences
  • They are cheap and nasty, and limit the sound quality enormously.
  • Rather than being cheap and nasty and unstable (like everything else at that store), they seem to be actually quite sturdy and rather pleasing on the eye.
  • People should be made to realise that a bike is a serious investment, or they're going to buy something cheap and nasty and not enjoy the cycling experience as much as if they'd spent a bit more.

(as) cheap as chips

British informal Very inexpensive: the second-hand copies are cheap as chips [as modifier]: cheap-as-chips jewellery
More example sentences
  • Cheap as chips, each drank champagne and vodka tonics all night.
  • My cheap as chips special edition will now be shipping Monday not last Thursday as MS didn't deliver all the stock.
  • Daytime TV ad slots are cheap as chips.

cheap at the price (or humorous at half the price)

British Well worth having, regardless of the cost: as an investment for the future, the books are cheap at the price
More example sentences
  • If, at last, we begin to see just how counter-productive and wasteful our farming policies have become, the cost of this latest compensation will have been cheap at the price.
  • I would suggest £200 for a ten-year personal licence is hardly excessive - £20 per year seems cheap at the price.
  • Not just deeply relevant, but cheap at the price.

on the cheap

informal At low cost: proper care cannot be provided on the cheap
More example sentences
  • Seven fuel cheats were counting the cost of trying to do their driving on the cheap.
  • But can I do this on the cheap, or does it cost a lot of money to put this together?
  • My generation has become used to living on the cheap - expensive housing, education and cost of living has seen to this.

Derivatives

cheapish

adjective
More example sentences
  • Almost done with packing… of course, we had to make a run in search of a cheapish suitcase, since we bought way too many books during our sojourn in London.
  • The meat was indeed delicious, far better quality than you would expect in a cheapish sandwich, and cooked to perfection.
  • After a nasty couple of hours when it looked like we were going to have to drive I found some cheapish tickets online and we're going by train.

cheaply

adverb
More example sentences
  • It is time councils were compelled to resort to the private sector when it can deliver more efficiently and cheaply.
  • New York's transport system is geared up to get masses of people round the city quickly, cheaply and easily.
  • They decided to move to rural France where they could live cheaply and allow Rankin to concentrate on his fiction.

cheapness

noun
More example sentences
  • Vulgarity and cheapness has been a problem for me, so nudity, no.
  • There is nothing wrong with cheapness, it can be cheerful, stylish and welcoming; but not if it is shoddy.
  • It allows deep significance to be read into mediocrity, vacuity, cheapness, meanness.

Definition of cheap in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day inamorata
Pronunciation: ɪˌnaməˈrɑːtə
noun
a person's female lover