definition of cheapest by The Free Dictionary


not expensive; poor; shoddy

Not to be confused with:

cheep – to chirp or peep

Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree



adj. cheap·er, cheap·est


a. Relatively low in cost; inexpensive or comparatively inexpensive.

b. Charging low prices: a cheap restaurant.


a. Obtainable at a low rate of interest. Used especially of money.

b. Devalued, as in buying power: cheap dollars.

3. Achieved with little effort: a cheap victory; cheap laughs.

4. Of or considered of small value: in wartime, when life was cheap.

5. Of poor quality; inferior: a cheap toy.

6. Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible: a cheap gangster.

7. Stingy; miserly.

adv. cheaper, cheapest

Inexpensively: got the new car cheap.


cheap at twice the price

Extremely inexpensive.

on the cheap

By inexpensive means; cheaply: traveled to Europe on the cheap.

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

cheap′ly adv.

cheap′ness n.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




1. costing relatively little; inexpensive; good value

2. charging low prices: a cheap hairdresser.

3. of poor quality; shoddy: cheap furniture; cheap and nasty.

4. worth relatively little: promises are cheap.

5. not worthy of respect; vulgar

6. ashamed; embarrassed: to feel cheap.

7. stingy; miserly

8. informal mean; despicable: a cheap liar.

9. cheap as chips See chip11

10. dirt cheap informal extremely inexpensive


on the cheap informal Brit at a low cost

[Old English ceap barter, bargain, price, property; related to Old Norse kaup bargain, Old High German kouf trade, Latin caupō innkeeper]

ˈcheapish adj

ˈcheaply adv

ˈcheapness n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



adj. -er, -est,
adv., n. adj.

1. costing very little; relatively low in price; inexpensive.

2. charging low prices: a cheap store.

3. shoddy or inferior.

4. costing little labor or trouble: Talk is cheap.

5. mean or contemptible: a cheap joke.

6. of little account or value: Life was cheap.

7. embarrassed; sheepish.

8. stingy; miserly.

9. (of money) able to be borrowed at low interest.

10. of decreased value or purchasing power.


11. at a low price or small cost.


12. on the cheap, inexpensively; economically.


[before 900; Middle English chep (short for phrases, as god chep(e) inexpensive), Old English cēap bargain, caupō innkeeper, tradesman; compare chapman]

cheap′ly, adv.

cheap′ness, n.

syn: cheap, inexpensive agree in their suggestion of low cost. cheap now often suggests shoddiness, inferiority, showy imitation, unworthiness, and the like: a cheap fabric. inexpensive emphasizes lowness of price (although more expensive than cheap) and suggests that the value is fully equal to the cost: an inexpensive dress. It is often used as an evasion for the more pejorative cheap.

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


– cheaply

1. “” as an adjective

Cheap goods or services cost less than other goods or services of the same type.

cheap red wine.

cheap plastic buckets.

A solid fuel cooker is cheap to run.

2. “” as an adverb

In conversation, cheap can also be an adverb, but only with verbs which refer to the buying, selling, or hiring of things.

I thought you got it very cheap.

You can hire boots pretty cheap.

3. “”

With other verbs, the adverb you use is cheaply.

You can play golf comparatively cheaply.

In fact you can travel just as cheaply by British Airways.

4. “”

You do not say that things such as wages, costs, or payments are “”. You say that they are low.

If your family has a low income, you can apply for a student grant.

…tasty meals at a fairly low cost.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012

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