ex·pense / ikˈspens/ • n. the cost required for something; the money spent on something: we had ordered suits at great expense. ∎ (expenses) the costs incurred in the performance of one's job or a specific task, esp. one undertaken for another person: his hotel and travel expenses. ∎ a thing on which one is required to spend money: tolls are a daily expense. • v. [tr.] (usu. be expensed) offset (an item of expenditure) as an expense against taxable income. PHRASES: at someone's expense paid for by someone: the document was printed at the taxpayer's expense. ∎ with someone as the victim, esp. of a joke: my friends all had a good laugh at my expense. at the expense of so as to cause harm to or neglect of: the pursuit of profit at the expense of the environment.