Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


They are certainly the best and cheapest vehicles in the world.

Will you please tell me which road is the cheapest to travel on?

Take flounders or almost any flat fish that is cheapest at the time you require them.

Those whose construction is most simple, and which of course are the cheapest, are beyond comparison the best on all accounts.

Well, well, this was making himself a little the cheapest he had ever let himself be made.

This was, of course, in days gone by, the easiest and cheapest crop to produce.

Lancashire flannels are cheapest, but are far inferior in quality.

Clemens at last brought the cheapest kind of a watch for repairs.

"The cheapest line is by the way of New Haven," said Mrs. Holiday.

This was a young man, clad in much-worn sheepskins of the cheapest variety.


"low in price, that may be bought at small cost," c.1500, ultimately from Old English noun ceap "traffic, a purchase," from ceapian (v.) "trade," probably from an early Germanic borrowing from Latin caupo "petty tradesman, huckster" (see chapman).

The sense evolution is from the noun meaning "a barter, a purchase" to "a purchase as rated by the buyer," hence adjectival meaning "inexpensive," the main modern sense, via Middle English phrases such as god chep "favorable bargain" (12c., a translation of French a bon marché).

Sense of "lightly esteemed, common" is from 1590s (cf. similar evolution of Latin vilis). The meaning "low in price" was represented in Old English by undeor, literally "un-dear" (but deop ceap, literally "deep cheap," meant "high price").

The word also was used in Old English for "market" (cf. ceapdæg "market day"), a sense surviving in place names Cheapside, East Cheap, etc. Related: Cheaply. Expression on the cheap is first attested 1888. Cheap shot originally was U.S. football jargon for a head-on tackle; extended sense "unfair hit" in politics, etc. is by 1970. German billig "cheap" is from Middle Low German billik, originally "fair, just," with a sense evolution via billiger preis "fair price," etc.