expense - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1

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    [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.

    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

     Synonyms and related words
  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.

     Synonyms and related words
  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.

See also