Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.
  • adjective Charging low prices.
  • adjective Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.
  • adjective Devalued, as in buying power.
  • adjective Achieved with little effort.
  • adjective Of or considered of small value.
  • adjective Of poor quality; inferior.
  • adjective Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible.
  • adjective Stingy; miserly.
  • adverb Inexpensively.
  • idiom (cheap at twice the price) Extremely inexpensive.
  • idiom (on the cheap) By inexpensive means; cheaply.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Rated at a low price or cost; purchasable or obtainable at a low price or cost, either as compared with the usual price or cost, or with the real value, or, more vaguely, with the price of other things; relatively inexpensive.
  • Of small intrinsic value or esteem; common; commonplace; mean; costing little effort to obtain, practise, influence, etc.: as, to make one's self cheap.
  • Getting off cheaply, or without losing much (or so much as one deserves): as, to be cheap o′ t.
  • noun Trade; traffic; chaffer; chaffering.
  • noun A market; a market-place: in this sense extant in several place-names, as Cheapside and Eastcheap in London, Chepstow, etc.
  • noun Price.
  • noun A low price; a bargain: especially in the phrases good cheap and great cheap (see below).
  • noun Cheapness; lowness of price; abundance of supply.
  • noun In abundant supply; at a low price; cheap: used adjectively or adverbially. [Now simply cheap. See cheap, a.]
  • noun literally, great or large market-trade, An abundant supply; cheapness.
  • noun In abundant supply; at a low price; cheap.
  • To trade; traffic; bargain; chaffer; ask the price of goods; cheapen goods.
  • To bargain for; chaffer for; ask the price of; offer a price for; cheapen.
  • To buy; purchase.
  • To sell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having a low price in market; of small cost or price, as compared with the usual price or the real value.
  • adjective Of comparatively small value; common; mean.
  • adjective very cheap, -- a phrase formed probably by the catachrestical transposition of good cheap. [Colloq.]
  • noun obsolete A bargain; a purchase; cheapness.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To buy; to bargain.
  • adverb Cheaply.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Trade; traffic; chaffer; chaffering.
  • noun A market; marketplace.
  • noun Price.
  • noun A low price; a bargain.
  • noun Cheapness; lowness of price; abundance of supply.
  • adjective Low and/or reduced in price.
  • adjective Of poor quality.
  • adjective Of little worth.
  • adjective slang, of an action or tactic in a game of skill underhand; dubious.
  • adjective derogatory frugal; stingy
  • verb intransitive, obsolete To trade; traffic; bargain; chaffer; ask the price of goods; cheapen goods.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To bargain for; chaffer for; ask the price of; offer a price for; cheapen.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To buy; purchase.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To sell.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of very poor quality; flimsy

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English (god) chep, (good) price, purchase, bargain, from Old English cēap, trade, from Latin caupō, shopkeeper.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cheep, chepe / chepen, chep, cheap / cheapien, chapien, from Old English cēap ("cattle, purchase, sale, traffic, business, bargain, gain, payment, value, price, goods, possessions, property, market, saleable commodities, trade"), ċēapian ("to bargain, chaffer, trade, to contract for the purchase or sale of, buy, bribe, endeavor to bribe"), from Proto-Germanic *kaupaz, *kaupô (“inn-keeper, merchant”), Proto-Germanic *kaupōnan, *kaupijanan (“to buy, purchase”), from Latin caupo ("tradesman, innkeeper, huckster"), cauponari ("to traffic, trade"), caupo ("tradesman, inn-keeper"), from Proto-Indo-European *kaup-, *ḱaup-, *kwap-, *ḱwap- (“merchant”), related to Ancient Greek κάπηλος (kápēlos, "huckster"). Cognate with Scots chepe ("to sell"), chape ("sale price"), North Frisian keap ("purchase"), West Frisian keap ("purchase, buy, acquisition"), Dutch koop ("buy, purchase, deal"), kopen ("to buy, purchase, shop"), Low German kopen ("to buy"), German Kauf ("trade, traffic, bargain, purchase, buy"), kaufen ("to buy"), Swedish köp ("bargain, purchase"), köpa ("to buy, purchase"), Icelandic kaup ("purchase, bargain"), kaupa ("to purchase"), Finnish kauppa ("shop").

Examples

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  • "n. A market; a market-place: in this sense extant in several place-names, as Cheapside and Eastcheap in London, Chepstow, etc."

    --from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

    May 16, 2014