Meaning of CHEAP in English

I. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English chepen, from Old English cēapian to buy; akin to Old High German koufōn, Old Norse kaupa, Gothic kaupōn

1. obsolete : to ask the price of : price

2. obsolete : to bargain or bid for

II. ˈchēp noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English chep, from Old English cēap trade, purchase, sale; akin to Old High German kouf trade, koufo merchant, Old Norse kaup bargain, Gothic kaupōn to trade; all from a prehistoric Germanic word stem borrowed from Latin caupo tradesman, innkeeper: perhaps akin to Greek kapēlos tradesman, innkeeper

obs Britain : bargain — now used only in the phrase on the cheap

- on the cheap

III. adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: cheap (II) (in such phrases as at good cheap at a bargain)


a. : of small cost : inexpensive especially as compared with the going price or the real value

living is cheaper during the summer than in winter

— formerly used with good or great

food is good cheap in a time of plenty

b. : charging a comparatively low price

the cheaper stores

c. : dealing in low-priced goods

the cheap stores along the waterfront

d. depreciated in value (as by currency inflation)

cheap dollars

2. : costing little labor or effort or involving little trouble to obtain : easily obtained or attained

a cheap victory

cheap kisses

— formerly used with good or great

compliments are good cheap


a. : of inferior quality : of small intrinsic worth : shoddy , tawdry , meretricious

the cheap novel does not itself turn back to reality — Bernard De Voto

nothing is cheap about this volume but its price — S.L.Faison

cheap publicity

b. : worthy of scorn or rejection : unredeemed by any fine or lofty qualities : contemptible

a cheap and nasty life — G.B.Shaw

a cheap and vulgar remark

he feels pretty cheap


a. : yielding small satisfaction

cheap entertainment

b. : paying or able to pay less than given amounts

a cheaper class of customers

5. of money : obtainable at a low rate of interest

6. Britain : specially reduced in price

a cheap day ticket to Manchester — S.P.B.Mais

Synonyms: see contemptible

- cheap of

IV. adverb

: cheaply

bought the article cheap

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.