expense

An expense is a cost, but you can also use this word to mean the figurative cost of something. If you find it embarrassing to dress up as Santa, you might say that you do it to amuse your nephews, at the expense of your pride.

When you give one thing up in order to get something else, its cost or sacrifice is the expense of getting what you want. You might worry that politicians want to cut taxes at the expense of schools that need money, or that oil companies increase drilling at the expense of the environment. The root of expense the Latin expendere, "to weigh out money or pay down."

Definitions of expense
  1. noun
    money paid out; an amount spent
    synonyms: expenditure, outgo, outlay, spending
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    Antonyms:
    income
    the financial gain (earned or unearned) accruing over a given period of time
    types:
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    cost
    the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor
    transfer payment
    a public expenditure (as for unemployment compensation or veteran's benefits) that is not for goods and services
    disbursal, disbursement
    amounts paid for goods and services that may be currently tax deductible (as opposed to capital expenditures)
    capital expenditure
    the cost of long-term improvements
    payment
    a sum of money paid or a claim discharged
    ransom, ransom money
    money demanded for the return of a captured person
    cost overrun
    excess of cost over budget
    cost of living
    average cost of basic necessities of life (as food and shelter and clothing)
    borrowing cost
    the cost of borrowing something
    distribution cost
    any cost incurred by a producer or wholesaler or retailer or distributor (as for advertising and shipping etc)
    handling charge, handling cost
    the cost of handling (especially the cost of packaging and mailing an order)
    marketing cost
    the cost of marketing (e.g., the cost of transferring title and moving goods to the customer)
    production cost
    combined costs of raw material and labor incurred in producing goods
    replacement cost
    current cost of replacing a fixed asset with a new one of equal effectiveness
    physical value, reproduction cost
    cost of reproducing physical property minus various allowances (especially depreciation)
    unit cost
    calculated cost for a given unit of a product
    damage, price, terms
    the amount of money needed to purchase something
    price
    cost of bribing someone
    opportunity cost
    cost in terms of foregoing alternatives
    portage
    the cost of carrying or transporting
    incidental, incidental expense, minor expense
    (frequently plural) an expense not budgeted or not specified
    travel expense
    (frequently plural) expenses incurred by an employee in the performance of the job and usually reimbursed by the employer
    charge
    the price charged for some article or service
    type of:
    transferred possession, transferred property
    a possession whose ownership changes or lapses
  2. noun
    something for which one is required to pay money
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    type of:
    purchase
    something acquired by purchase
  3. noun
    money spent to perform work and usually reimbursed by an employer
    “he kept a careful record of his expenses at the meeting”
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    types:
    incidental, incidental expense, minor expense
    (frequently plural) an expense not budgeted or not specified
    travel expense
    (frequently plural) expenses incurred by an employee in the performance of the job and usually reimbursed by the employer
    type of:
    expenditure, outgo, outlay, spending
    money paid out; an amount spent
  4. noun
    amounts paid for goods and services that may be currently tax deductible (as opposed to capital expenditures)
    synonyms: disbursal, disbursement
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    types:
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    business expense, trade expense
    ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in a taxpayer's business or trade
    interest expense
    interest paid on loans
    lobbying expense
    expenses incurred in promoting or evaluating legislation
    medical expense
    amount spent for diagnosis or treatment or prevention of medical problems
    non-cash expense
    an expense (such as depreciation) that is not paid for in cash
    moving expense
    the cost of moving your residence from one location to another
    budget items, operating cost, operating expense, overhead
    the expense of maintaining property (e.g., paying property taxes and utilities and insurance); it does not include depreciation or the cost of financing or income taxes
    personal expense
    the cost of personal or family living
    organization expense
    the cost (over a period of five years) of organizing a new corporation or partnership
    promotional expense
    the cost of promoting a product
    depreciation, wear and tear
    decrease in value of an asset due to obsolescence or use
    type of:
    cost
    the total spent for goods or services including money and time and labor
  5. noun
    a detriment or sacrifice
    “at the expense of”
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    type of:
    detriment, hurt
    a damage or loss
  6. verb
    reduce the estimated value of something
    synonyms: write down, write off
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    type of:
    depreciate
    lower the value of something
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