Ask the Editor
What does "at the expense of" mean?
If something is done at the expense of someone or something, it is done in a way that harms someone or something.
Here are some example sentences using the phrase:
- Malls flourished at the expense of small stores downtown.
- He argues that the tax cut will benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.
- She's focusing on math at the expense of her other interests.
Another way to say the same thing is "at someone's expense." Here are some example sentences using it this way:
- Much of rail's success comes at the trucking industry's expense.
- She took the job at her friend's expense.
- The nurses went on strike at their patients' expense, knowing it would be better in the long run.
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