cheap

\ \ [16] The adjectival use of cheap in English is quite recent, but the word itself goes back a long way. Its ultimate source is the Latin noun caupōtradesman’, which was borrowed into Germanic in prehistoric times. Among its descendants were German kaufenbuy’, Old English cēapiantrade’ (the possible source of chop, as in ‘chop and change’), and the Old English noun cēaptrade’. In Middle English times this came to be used in such phrases as good chepe, meaning ‘good bargain’, and by the 16th century an adjectival sense ‘inexpensive’ had developed. The original sense ‘trade’ is preserved in the personal name Chapman, which until the 19th century was an ordinary noun meaning ‘trader’ (it is the source of chapfellow’).
\ \ Cf.CHAP, CHOP

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cheap — cheap …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • cheap — [chēp] adj. [< good cheap, favorable bargain < ME god chep (used as transl. of OFr à bon marché) < OE ceap, a purchase, bargain, akin to Ger kaufen, to buy; ult. < L caupo, petty tradesman] 1. low in price or cost; not expensive 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Cheap — Cheap, a. [Abbrev. fr. good cheap : a good purchase or bargain; cf. F. bon march[ e], [ a] bon march[ e]. See {Cheap}, n., {Cheapen}.] 1. Having a low price in market; of small cost or price, as compared with the usual price or the real value.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cheap — [ tʃip ] adj. inv. • 1979; mot angl. « bon marché » ♦ Anglic. Fam. Qui est bon marché et d une qualité douteuse, donnant une impression de mesquinerie. ⇒ ordinaire. Ça fait cheap. « Ils étaient “cheap” [...] ils deviennent classe » (L Express,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cheap — cheap; cheap·en; cheap·ie; cheap·ly; cheap·ness; cheap·skate; …   English syllables

  • cheap — agg.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} 1. che è poco costoso, economico Sinonimi: a buon mercato, conveniente, economico. Contrari: 1caro, costoso. 2. che ha scarso valore, che è di qualità scadente: prodotto cheap | fig., spreg., di cattivo gusto:… …   Dizionario italiano

  • cheap — (adj.) low in price, that may be bought at small cost, c.1500, from god chep favorable bargain (12c., a translation of Fr. a bon marché), from O.E. ceap (n.) traffic, bargain, a purchase, from ceapian (v.) trade, probably an early Germanic… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cheap — cheap, cheaply adverbs. Cheap, used as an adverb, has one meaning, ‘at a low price’, and regularly follows the verb as closely as possible: • Picture books seem to end up by being sold off cheap as remaindered volumes Country Life, 1981. Cheaply… …   Modern English usage

  • Cheap — may refer to: Cheap (album), debut album from Seasick Steve Cheap (EP), twelve inch EP by Brainbombs Cheap (ward) Characteristic behavior of a miser This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • cheap — [adj1] inexpensive at a bargain, bargain, bargain basement*, bargain counter, bought for a song*, budget, buy, cheapo*, competitive, cost next to nothing*, cut price, cut rate, depreciated, dime a dozen*, easy on the pocketbook*, economical, half …   New thesaurus

  • cheap´en|er — cheap|en «CHEE puhn», transitive verb. 1. to make cheap; lower the price of: »The flood of imported cars cheapened the cost of cars made here. 2. Figurative. to cause to be thought little of; lower in estimation; vilify. 3. to bargain for; bid… …   Useful english dictionary

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