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expense - definition and synonyms


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noun expense pronunciation in British English /ɪkˈspens/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
     expense pronunciation in British English /ɪkˈspens/ [countable] an amount of money that you spend in order to buy or do something
    Rent is our biggest expense.
    You can claim part of your telephone bill as a business expense.
    travelling/medical/legal expenses
    a factory’s operating expenses
    incur an expense: The insurance will cover all expenses incurred during your time in hospital.
    cover/meet an expense: people struggling to meet their basic living expenses
  2. 2
    [uncountable] the high cost of something
    A powerful computer is worth the expense if you use it regularly.
    expense of: the expense and inconvenience of recovering cargo from sunken ships
    go to great/considerable etc expense (=spend a lot of money): His parents went to great trouble and expense to make sure the party was a success.
    go to the expense of doing something (=spend money on doing something): We didn’t want to go to the expense of sending a courier.
    put someone to the expense of doing something (=make someone spend money on doing something): That little mistake put us to the expense of reprinting the whole book.
  3. 3


    [plural] money that you spend as part of your job that your employer later gives back to you
    The company pays all our expenses.
    put something on expenses (=charge it to your employer): Let me pay – I can put it on expenses.
    plus expenses: Your salary will be £50,000 a year, plus expenses.
    reimburse expenses: All reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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