at the expense of

Idioms & Phrases

at the expense of

Also, at one's expense.

  1. Paid for by someone, as in The hotel bill for the sales force is at the expense of the company. [Mid-1600s]

  2. To the detriment or injury of a person or thing, as in We can't speed up production at the expense of quality, or The laughter was all at Tom's expense. [Late 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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