expense Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “expense” in the English Dictionary

"expense" in British English

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expensenoun

uk   /ɪkˈspens/  us   /ɪkˈspens/
B2 [U] the use of ​money, ​time, or ​effort: Buying a ​biggercar has ​proved to be well worth the expense. We've just had a new ​garagebuilt at great expense. We went on ​holiday at my father's expense (= he ​paid for it). It's ​silly to go to the expense of (= ​spendmoney on)buying new ​clothes when you don't really need them.
[C] something that makes you ​spendmoney: Our ​biggest expense this ​year was ​oursummerholiday. We need to ​cut down on ​ourexpenses.
expenses C1 [plural]
money that you ​spend when you are doing ​yourjob, that ​youremployer will ​pay back to you: I need to get my expenses ​approved.UK Don't ​worry about the ​cost of ​lunch - it's on expenses.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of expense from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"expense" in American English

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expensenoun [C/U]

 us   /ɪkˈspens/
an ​amount of ​moneyneeded or used to do or ​buy something; ​cost: [C] We have to ​startcutting down on ​our expenses. [U] The ​house was redecorated at ​great expense.
(Definition of expense from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"expense" in Business English

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expensenoun

uk   us   /ɪkˈspens/
[C or U] ACCOUNTING an ​amount of ​money that a ​person or ​businessspends in ​order to do something: a big/major expense Waste ​disposal is a ​major expense for us.cut down on/reduce/cut expense We need to ​cut down on our expenses.cover/meet expenses He said the ​business needed to ​borrow to ​meet future expenses.bear/incur an expense In your ​taxreturn you can ​includetax-deductible expenses ​incurred as a ​result of ​employment. a ​business/​operating/​running expense legal/​medical/​administrative expensesunnecessary/additional/extra expense Money can be ​moved into the ​account without the unnecessary expense of being ​converted into ​sterling.
[U] the large ​amount of ​money that something ​costs: Buying a bigger ​car has proved to be well worth the expense. He just had his ​officeremodelled at great expense. Having gone to the expense ofhiring an ​exhibitionstand, you need to make the most of the ​sellingopportunity.
expenses [plural]
HR, ACCOUNTING money that you ​spend when you are doing your ​job, that an ​employer or other ​organizationpays back to you: pay/cover/reimburse sb's expenses She was ​invited to speak at the ​conference, with an ​offer to ​cover all her expenses. travel/​relocation/​subsistence expenses Details of how to claim expenses can be ​found on the ​website. Committee ​members are ​paid £160 plus expenses to ​attend the fortnightly ​meetings. I need to get my expenses ​approved.
all expenses paid
if something is all expenses ​paid, you do not have to ​pay for anything yourself: She's going to a ​conference in Tokyo, all expenses ​paid. an all-expenses-paid ​trip to New York
at sb's expense
paid for by someone: They are ​living an ​extravagantlifestyle at the taxpayer's expense. If you ​lose your ​ticket, you will have to ​buy another at your own expense.
on expenses
using ​money that will be ​paid back by your ​employer: He took me out to ​lunch on expenses. I usually ​travelstandardclass on the ​train, ​even when on expenses.
spare no expense
to ​spend a lot of ​money in ​order to make something extremely good: No expense was spared in redesigning the chairman's ​office.

expenseverb [T]

uk   us   /ɪkˈspens/ ACCOUNTING
to show the ​fullamount of ​moneypaid for something as a ​cost in a company's ​accounts, rather than showing it as a ​lower and ​loweramount over a ​period of ​time: The ​accountingruleallows research-and-development ​costs to be instantly expensed or ​deducted from ​profits.
(Definition of expense from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “expense”
in Arabic مَصاريف…
in Korean 비용…
in Portuguese gasto, gastos…
in Catalan despesa…
in Japanese 費用, 出費…
in Chinese (Simplified) 花钱, 支付, 耗费…
in Turkish masraf…
in Russian расход, цена…
in Chinese (Traditional) 花錢, 支付, 耗費…
in Italian costo…
in Polish koszt…
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