1 /tSi:p/ adjective
1 PRICE not at all expensive, or lower in price than you expected: You're just not going to find a cheap leather coat. | the cheapest TV on the market | dirt cheap (=extremely low in price): These CDs are dirt cheap.
-see economic
2 CHARGING LESS charging a low price: Which store do you suppose is cheaper? | As taxi companies go, they're quite cheap. | cheap and cheerful BrE (=simple and charging a low price, but pleasant): a cheap and cheerful bistro, popular with students
3 BAD QUALITY low in price and quality, or not worth much: Cheap wine gives me a headache. | You don't think these earrings look too cheap? | cheap and nasty BrE (=very low in price and quality): cheap and nasty t-shirts
4 CHEAP TO USE not costing much to use or to employ: I'll have to have a cheaper car, this one uses too much gas. | cheap labour: multinational clothing companies exploiting cheap child labour in Bangladesh
5 NOT DESERVING RESPECT showing a lack of honesty, moral principles, or sincere feelings, and therefore difficult to respect: It makes me feel cheap, but I can't face seeing Mother. | (just) some cheap sth: He acts like I'm just some cheap little bimbo. | This is not some cheap pastime! This is art! | cheap thrill (=excitement that you do not have to work hard for or pay for): Glue-sniffing is a cheap thrill, and a trend among some schoolchildren. | cheap remark/joke etc (=one that attacks people who cannot defend themselves)
6 NOT GENEROUS AmE not liking to spend money; mean 2 (2) BrE: Frank's so cheap that he re-uses Christmas wrapping paper.
7 on the cheap spending less money than is needed to do something properly: I'm not surprised the roof is leaking - the landlord does everything on the cheap.
8 cheap at the price/at any price of such high value, or so good or useful, that the cost is not important
9 life is cheap used to say that it is not important if people die: Everyone carried a gun or knife during the war, and life was cheap.
- cheaply adverb: a cheaply furnished room - cheapness noun (U) USAGE NOTE: CHEAP WORD CHOICE: cheap, low-priced, inexpensive, not cost a lot, reasonable, good value, a good buy, a bargain, a steal, a snip, low Saying that something is cheap often suggests it is also bad in quality: Buying cheap shoes is not a good idea in the long run. | That necklace looks really cheap and nasty. Low-priced and inexpensive do not suggest this, but are not so common in informal spoken English: The university needs more low-priced accommodation. In everyday English people often just say that something doesn't cost a lot/much. If you want to say that something is good and does not cost as much as it might, you say it is reasonable, good value, or a good buy: $200 for a leather jacket seems pretty reasonable to me. If something is a bargain it cost very much less than you expected to pay. In informal conversation people often say instead that something is a steal (American English) or a snip (British English). The cost of something, a bill, someone's salary etc can be low or reasonable but not cheap. 2 adverb at a low price: Sharon has some really nice furniture she picked up cheap in a sale. | They're selling linen off cheap in Lewis's. | sth does not come cheap (=something is expensive): Houses like that don't come cheap. | (be) going cheap (=selling for a lower price than usual): Ask if they've got any flights going cheap.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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