cheap Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “cheap” in the English Dictionary

"cheap" in British English

See all translations

cheapadjective

uk   us   /tʃiːp/

cheap adjective (LOW PRICE)

A1 costing little ​money or less than is ​usual or ​expected: I got a cheap ​flight at the last ​minute. Food is usually cheaper in ​supermarkets. Children and the ​elderly are ​entitled to cheap ​traintickets. The ​system is ​simple and cheap tooperate. During ​times of ​massunemployment, there's a ​pool of cheap labour for ​employers to ​draw from.figurative In a ​war, ​humanlifebecomes very cheap (= ​seems to be of little ​value). If a ​shop or ​restaurant is cheap, it ​chargeslowprices: I go to the cheapest hairdresser's in ​town.cheap and cheerful UK cheap but good or ​enjoyable: There's a ​restaurant round the ​corner that ​serves cheap and ​cheerfulfood.on the cheap informal If you get ​goods on the cheap, you get them for a ​lowprice, often from someone you ​know who ​works in the ​company or ​business that ​produces them.
More examples

cheap adjective (LOW QUALITY)

C1 disapproving used to ​describegoods that are both ​low in ​quality and ​low in ​price: I ​bought some cheap ​wine for ​cooking with. He ​bought some cheap ​shoes that ​fellapart after a ​couple of ​months.cheap and nasty UK costing little and of very ​badquality

cheap adjective (UNGENEROUS)

US (UK mean) unwilling to ​spendmoney: He's so cheap he didn't ​evenbuy me a ​card for my ​birthday.

cheap adjective (DRESSED SEXILY)

disapproving If you ​describe the way a ​person is ​dressed as cheap, you mean that it is very ​obvious that they are ​trying to ​sexuallyattract other ​people.

cheap adjective (UNKIND)

disapproving unpleasant and ​unkind: I ​wish you'd ​stop making cheap ​jokes about my ​friends.

cheapadverb

uk   us   /tʃiːp/
for little ​money or for less than is ​usual: I got some ​shoes cheap in the ​sale. There were some ​chairs in the ​market going cheap (= they were not ​expensive).
(Definition of cheap from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"cheap" in American English

See all translations

cheapadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /tʃip/

cheap adjective [-er/-est only] (COST)

costing little ​money or less than is ​usual or ​expected: After ​World War II, the US had cheap ​labor, cheap ​energy, cheap ​rawmaterials, cheap ​housing, cheap ​food, and cheap ​transportation. Used ​computers are dirt cheap (= very cheap). If a ​place that ​sellsgoods or ​services is cheap, it ​chargeslowprices: a cheap ​departmentstore Goods that are cheap are ​low in ​price but of ​poorquality: The cheap ​rug did not come ​clean. disapproving Someone who is cheap is ​unwilling to ​spendmoney: The ​boss is cheap – he’ll never ​buy a new ​truck if he can ​squeeze a few more ​miles out of the ​old one.

cheap adjective [-er/-est only] (CHARACTER)

considered to have a ​lowmoralcharacter or ​value: She called him a cheap ​thug and a ​liar.
(Definition of cheap from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"cheap" in Business English

See all translations

cheapadjective

uk   us   /tʃiːp/
costing little ​money or less than is usual or expected: I got a cheap ​flight at the last ​minute. Food is usually cheaper in ​supermarkets. During ​times of ​massunemployment, there's a ​pool of cheap ​labour for ​employers to ​draw from.
See also
if a ​store, ​restaurant, etc. is cheap, it ​chargeslowprices: This is the cheapest ​officesuppliesstore in the city.
See also
low in ​quality and ​low in ​price: He ​bought some cheap shoes that ​fell apart after a couple of months.
US disapproving ( UK mean) unwilling to ​spendmoney: He's so cheap we didn't get a ​payraise this ​year.
cheap and cheerful UK informal cheap, but good or enjoyable: There's a ​restaurant round the ​corner that ​serves cheap and cheerful ​food.
cheap and nasty UK informal costing little, and of ​badquality: Spend a little more and ​avoid getting something that is just cheap and nasty.

cheapadverb

uk   us   /tʃiːp/
for little ​money, or for less than is usual: buy/sell sth cheap I ​bought it cheap from an ​internetauctionsite.
be going cheap to be for ​sale for less than you would ​normally expect to ​pay: Many ​mortgagedeals are going cheap ​right now.
not come cheap if you say that something does not come cheap, you mean that it is of good ​quality and is therefore ​expensive: If you want a ​qualifiedaccountant, their ​services don't come cheap.
on the cheap informal if something is ​bought, done, or ​produced on the cheap, it is ​bought, etc. for less ​money than you would ​normally expect to ​pay, and is perhaps of ​poorquality: This ​site will ​help you to eat well on the cheap. Much of the ​refurbishmentwork has been done on the cheap - and it ​shows.
(Definition of cheap from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cheap?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
public school

in England, an expensive type of private school (= school paid for by parents not by the government)

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by Cambridge Dictionaries Online,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More