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, cheapestIdioms:
Inexpensively: got the new car cheap.
cheap at twice the price
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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.