Definitions

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

  • adj. Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.
  • adj. Charging low prices: a cheap restaurant.
  • adj. Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.
  • adj. Devalued, as in buying power: cheap dollars.
  • adj. Achieved with little effort: a cheap victory; cheap laughs.
  • adj. Of or considered of small value: in wartime, when life was cheap.
  • adj. Of poor quality; inferior: a cheap toy.
  • adj. Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible: a cheap gangster.
  • adj. Stingy; miserly.
  • adv. Inexpensively: got the new car cheap.
  • idiom cheap at twice the price Extremely inexpensive.
  • idiom on the cheap By inexpensive means; cheaply: traveled to Europe on the cheap.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Trade; traffic; chaffer; chaffering.
  • n. A market; marketplace.
  • n. Price.
  • n. A low price; a bargain.
  • n. Cheapness; lowness of price; abundance of supply.
  • adj. Low and/or reduced in price.
  • adj. Of poor quality.
  • adj. Of little worth.
  • adj. underhand; dubious.
  • adj. frugal; stingy
  • v. To trade; traffic; bargain; chaffer; ask the price of goods; cheapen goods.
  • v. To bargain for; chaffer for; ask the price of; offer a price for; cheapen.
  • v. To buy; purchase.
  • v. To sell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bargain; a purchase; cheapness.
  • adj. Having a low price in market; of small cost or price, as compared with the usual price or the real value.
  • adj. Of comparatively small value; common; mean.
  • adv. Cheaply.
  • intransitive v. To buy; to bargain.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Trade; traffic; chaffer; chaffering.
  • n. A market; a market-place: in this sense extant in several place-names, as Cheapside and Eastcheap in London, Chepstow, etc.
  • n. Price.
  • n. A low price; a bargain: especially in the phrases good cheap and great cheap (see below).
  • n. Cheapness; lowness of price; abundance of supply.
  • n. In abundant supply; at a low price; cheap: used adjectively or adverbially. [Now simply cheap. See cheap, a.]
  • n. literally, great or large market-trade, An abundant supply; cheapness.
  • n. In abundant supply; at a low price; cheap.
  • 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.

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

  • adj. of very poor quality; flimsy
  • adj. tastelessly showy
  • adj. relatively low in price or charging low prices
  • adj. embarrassingly stingy

Etymologies

From Middle English (god) chep, (good) price, purchase, bargain, from Old English cēap, trade, from Latin caupō, shopkeeper.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _cheap laborer_ -- cheap not because she is a poor laborer -- she is not; generally she is an admirable one -- quick to learn, faithful to discharge.

    The Business of Being a Woman

  • At the word cheap I felt a deep sense of dishonor, a sense that I now was at the lowest rung of this society, that I had fallen low.

    Nomad

  • I don't think this is the end of credible news, although the word cheap does come to mind.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • I use the term cheap since you got all the instances for a keyword for that measly price.

    Digital Point Forums

  • House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith has made a career of fighting what he calls "cheap foreign labor," and one of his projects is to harass American business into becoming the enforcement agent for U.S. immigration laws.

    Republican Overregulation

  • Allow me to first address your use of the word "cheap."

    Michael Cohen: Ask Michael Cohen: How to Be Pregnant and Not in Heels

  • These differences speak to a larger contrast in baseball between the clubs at the top of the revenue ladder, which generally stockpile older, more expensive veterans, and every other team, where drafting well and finding reclamation projects on the cheap is the only affordable formula for success.

    Two Teams From Very Different Planets

  • In an email recently sent from his campaign to supporters, Kirk claims to be indignant about what he calls a cheap campaign stunt, Dan's gas price event in Lincolnshire last week, but Kirk himself fully and knowingly participated in the mother of all cheap campaign stunts, the Iraq War, and it wasn't so cheap and was very deadly.

    Scott McClellan, Mark Kirk and the Mother of All Cheap (No, Expensive) Campaign Stunts

  • Long-time wmtc readers may remember a discussion we had about Canadian perceptions of the US - of the positive variety - which I called cheap shopping vs. health care.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • And what he is accusing Romney and others of is taking what he called cheap shots without offering alternatives.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2007

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