"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[chee-puh n] /ˈtʃi pən/
verb (used with object)
to make cheap or cheaper.
to lower in esteem; bring into contempt:
Constant swearing cheapened him.
to decrease the quality or beauty of; make inferior or vulgar:
She cheapened the dress by adding a fringe to it.
Archaic. to bargain for.
verb (used without object)
to become cheap or cheaper.
Origin of cheapen
obsolete English
1555-65; cheap + -en1; replacing Middle English chepen (> obsolete English cheap (v.)) to price, bargain, Old English cēapian to bargain, trade, buy; cognate with Old Norse kaupa, Gothic kaupōn, German kaufen
Related forms
cheapener, noun
uncheapened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cheapen
  • The feature comes in handy for novices, but doesn't seem to cheapen the experience for veteran players.
  • Anonymous sources are necessary for some stories but also cheapen the currency when they creep into others casually.
  • Doctorate degrees based upon whimsical concepts only serve to cheapen their overall value.
  • They can greatly cheapen the bills, but they are incapable of supplying the civilized world alone.
  • The company insisted that price-cutting would cheapen the cachet of the brand.
  • The arguments the state will have to put forth will inevitably cheapen and disrespect the holiday.
  • They have done nothing to deserve this treatment, and damaged trees cheapen the natural experience for others.
  • How dare you cheapen what they sacrificed their lives for.
  • Frequent and inappropriate use of the term can cheapen its meaning.
  • Secondly, the use of forms itself serves to cheapen the profession in the eyes of the public.
British Dictionary definitions for cheapen


to make or become lower in reputation, quality, etc; degrade or be degraded
to make or become cheap or cheaper
Derived Forms
cheapener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cheapen

1570s, "ask the price of," from cheap (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "lower the price of" is from 1833, but figuratively, "to lower in estimation" is from 1650s. Related: Cheapened; cheapening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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