Definition of expense in US English:

expense

noun

  • 1The cost required for something; the money spent on something.

    ‘we had ordered suits at great expense’
    ‘the committee does not expect members to be put to any expense’
    • ‘And speaking of expense, the cost of using email is skyrocketing.’
    • ‘This charge only covers the basics and any ‘cosmetic’ treatment will of course incur additional expense.’
    • ‘If the buyer then fails to accept the bill, the supplier may incur considerable expense in retrieving the situation.’
    • ‘How do those costs compare with the expense incurred in buying into and getting out of a managed fund?’
    • ‘They have to do so at their own expense as the cost of living increases.’
    • ‘Until then they need not concern themselves about the current market rent nor need they incur expense in obtaining advice with regard thereto.’
    • ‘The fixed costs, variable costs, the interest expense and depreciation are allowable deductions.’
    • ‘It would simply be part of the overhead expense incurred by the solicitor in the proper conduct of his practice.’
    • ‘The ostensible justification for this profiteering at public expense is the cost of research into new drugs.’
    • ‘The attempt to recover costs had simply incurred further public expense on both sides.’
    • ‘An order to give notice would require that the parties incur further substantial expense with no corresponding benefit.’
    • ‘Well, you never just incur expense; you always incur expense for something.’
    • ‘So any incurred expense will go directly into materials rather than additional tools.’
    • ‘It also incurs the added expense of rigid triage at entry into the system to determine if demand is indeed urgent.’
    • ‘The repeat exercise will incur further expense for the taxpayers.’
    • ‘The extra expense of higher fuel costs can be offset, at least temporarily, by winning the bet on rising prices.’
    • ‘Owners of regularly flooded houses could opt to seal their properties from flood waters at their own expense - at a cost of up to £8,000.’
    • ‘I am concerned about the fact that all this expense has been incurred.’
    • ‘The only new expense incurred would be the cost of walkie-talkies for the official and the technical advisor.’
    • ‘The only such expense incurred to date relates to one session of dance lessons in which the petitioner enrolled the children.’
    cost, price
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1expenses The costs incurred in the performance of one's job or a specific task, especially one undertaken for another person.
      ‘his hotel and travel expenses’
      • ‘Anything above that is insurance premium tax, office costs, marketing expenses and commission for sellers.’
      • ‘A fortunate few have previously negotiated conversion from lease to proper title with the former laird for just the cost of the legal expenses.’
      • ‘The money goes towards running costs, including office expenses, classroom materials and cleaning bills.’
      • ‘Here he engaged in another traditional hobby of the expat - the claiming of expenses incurred in the line of duty.’
      • ‘How is it logical to spend the same amount in transport expenses as it would cost to keep the factory open?’
      • ‘The charges purely cover the cost of any travel expenses, blank CDs etc etc.’
      • ‘Note that these amounts do not include travel and lodging expenses nor the cost of running an office in their riding.’
      • ‘They pointed out that savings on rentals elsewhere and reduced traveling expenses was servicing the cost of the new building.’
      • ‘Although it is true that the price of flour has been lowered, have any of the other associated bakery expenses and costs been reduced?’
      • ‘They are only paid for administration costs and associated expenses.’
      • ‘The fee does not include travel expenses incurred by the guest (which need to be reimbursed separately).’
      • ‘It was stressed that the allowances are not a salary per se, but are intended to pay for postage and telephone costs and other expenses.’
      • ‘They finally had enough revenues to cover their fixed costs and marketing expenses.’
      • ‘They are in addition to payments being made by BA for hotel, transport and food expenses incurred by disrupted passengers.’
      • ‘His total claim of £128,053 went towards paying for housing allowances, office costs and travel expenses.’
      • ‘Supplementary expenses rate £25 per night to cover incidental expenses and cost of evening meal.’
      • ‘The money could then be set aside in a special fund which would be used to reimburse the state for incurring these expenses.’
      • ‘His airfare and hotel expenses were charged to the Harbour Fest.’
      • ‘A broader range of expenses incurred by business will become tax deductible.’
      • ‘It also provides financial help to family members to cover travel expenses, hotel costs and phone bills.’
      cost, asking price, selling price, charge, fee, terms, payment, rate, fare, levy, toll, amount, sum, total, figure
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A thing on which one is required to spend money.
      ‘tolls are a daily expense’
      • ‘There was a subsidy to assist farmers, but with the rising cost of electricity this expense was still a major burden.’
      • ‘Any normal expense incurred in the day-to-day operations of the company falls under this category.’
      outgoing, payment, outlay, disbursement, expenditure, charge, bill, overhead
      View synonyms

verb

[with object]usually be expensed
  • Offset (an item of expenditure) as an expense against taxable income.

    • ‘If options had been expensed in 2002, for example, 23% of the stock market's earnings would have been erased.’
    • ‘The more people talk about the debate over expensing stock options, the less of a big deal it appears to be.’
    • ‘He was one of the first CEOs to come out for expensing stock options.’
    • ‘Like stock options, phantom stock must be expensed throughout its vesting period.’
    • ‘They must be expensed through the income statement, because the future benefits of such investments are so uncertain.’
    • ‘When you give money to an employee for doing a job, it's compensation and it ought to be expensed in the current period.’
    • ‘Suppose he told you that the cost of the accumulator would add up to an estimated half of next year's profits, but would be expensed over the 30 years in question.’
    • ‘And it will change its accounting procedures to expense the stock options it already issued.’
    • ‘Options play a huge role in economic growth and expensing them could hurt small companies.’
    • ‘He proposes that the fair value of share options granted should be expensed to the profit and loss account.’
    • ‘Share options simply broaden the ownership of the company, involve no cash outflows and are not a cost that should be expensed to the profit and loss account.’
    • ‘Stock options are on their way to being expensed, which will cut income-tax revenues.’
    • ‘But for stable mature companies, they should be expensed, or other methods of compensation should be used.’
    • ‘The pain will be eased to the extent that the standard is being phased in and, at the outset, only options issued post November 2002 will be expensed.’
    • ‘His evidence that nothing has changed since the energy company collapsed is the fact that the law still does not require stock options to be expensed before they are exercised.’
    • ‘What matters is that options issued to employees have value and therefore they must be expensed.’
    • ‘Finally, the Internet provider gave up and completely expensed its $385 million in customer-acquisition costs.’
    • ‘Compensation cost arising from the issuance of stock options may be expensed or capitalized in the same way as cash compensation.’
    • ‘Anecdotal evidence suggests a growing number of Old Economy companies are moving away from stock options to restricted stock, which must be expensed on the income statement.’
    • ‘High-tech companies can make a reasonable case that stock options should not be expensed because they are an important employee incentive in their fast-paced world.’

Phrases

  • at someone's expense

    • 1Paid for by someone.

      ‘the document was printed at the taxpayer's expense’
      • ‘A private company, subsidised by the taxpayer, is given a license to print money at our expense.’
      • ‘The trade commission opens an investigation and demands the physician group turn over thousands of pages of documents at the group's expense.’
      • ‘It seems very likely, one way or another, that lawyers will make money from this at the taxpayer's expense.’
      • ‘It is especially onerous for them to do this at the taxpayer's expense.’
      • ‘Others include tax breaks and major infrastructure projects - such as road-building, at the taxpayer's expense.’
      • ‘Where the ministers see opportunities, though, many taxpayers simply see junkets and jamborees - at their expense.’
      • ‘The document requires the architect to modify contract documents, at the architect's expense, if bids exceed the owner's budget.’
      • ‘It is an invitation to the courts to rule that prisoners are entitled to expensive education at the taxpayer's expense.’
      • ‘Politicians last night dismissed suggestions that a new service giving MPs special access to a London medical centre was queue-jumping at the taxpayer's expense.’
      • ‘These privileged persons arrive with families and hangers-on in helicopters, which land them at a helipad near the Park entrance, all at the taxpayer's expense.’
      1. 1.1With someone as the victim, especially of a joke.
        ‘my friends all had a good laugh at my expense’
        • ‘She always thought that I was the one using wordplay to make a joke at her expense.’
        • ‘My week had been much too awful to accept his making a joke of me and having a laugh at my expense.’
        • ‘Now here's something funny - at least according to my wife, who loves to laugh at my expense: I didn't get the world's funniest joke.’
        • ‘What started out as a convenient short-cut for the writers has become a running joke, at the show's expense.’
        • ‘He seemed to be laughing himself silly at some of the jokes at his expense, but it may be that he's a good enough actor to fake enjoyment.’
        • ‘He used the opportunity to joke at the city 's expense.’
        • ‘The suspicion lingered with him that someone was making a joke at his expense.’
        • ‘I was really glad that someone out there was having a laugh at my expense, because if this was some sick cosmic joke then it was by no means funny.’
        • ‘Dan had made a joke at my expense and everyone was laughing.’
        • ‘He told police that some of his children changed their last name to avoid the jokes being made at their expense.’
  • at the expense of

    • So as to cause harm to or neglect of.

      ‘the pursuit of profit at the expense of the environment’
      ‘language courses that emphasize communication skills at the expense of literature’
      • ‘The strategy may have been to go for turnover growth at the expense of profit margins.’
      • ‘It might prove to be a success at the economic level but this would be at the expense of quality of life.’
      • ‘Why do we spend so much on things that give us tiny increases in comfort at the expense of so many other people?’
      • ‘Another risk posed by big clients is that they take up staff time at the expense of other, smaller clients.’
      • ‘He said using the 2001 census was benefiting urban areas at the expense of rural areas.’
      • ‘Behind the move is a scramble to cut costs and boost profits at the expense of workers everywhere.’
      • ‘His aim was predominance, but not at the expense of at least the appearance of popularity.’
      • ‘Discouraging access seems to provide minimal benefits at the expense of very poor public relations.’
      • ‘He is convinced that the tilt towards the environment at the expense of productivity has gone too far.’
      • ‘I suppose there's a case for continuity, but surely not at the expense of progress.’
      sacrifice, cost, loss
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, alteration of Old French espense, from late Latin expensa (pecunia) ‘(money) spent’, from Latin expendere ‘pay out’ (see expend).

Pronunciation

expense

/ikˈspens//ɪkˈspɛns/