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CY Feb 17, 2023 11:20AM

Pricy or Pricey? The Correct and Common Usage in 2023

In English communication and writing, people often confuse the spelling of some similar words. The following will be discussing one of the similar words that is often used by the new generation when describing cost.In this article, we'll define the words ‘pricy and pricey’ by showing the correct way to use these words.

You are not the only one confused about whether "pricey" is spelled with a “ce” or a “c”. We believe the information below will be very useful for you. Let’s find out which one is correct. Thus, without further ado, here are the discussions!

Table of Contents

  1. New Trend in the English Language
  2. What is the meaning of Pricy or Pricey?
  3. Formation of Adjectives by adding suffix -y
  4. Which one is correct: Pricy or Pricey?
  5. Common Usage of Pricey
  6. How To Use Pricey In A Sentence
  7. Pricey Synonym
  8. Difference Between Pricey and Expensive
  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
pricy or pricey

New Trend in the English Language 

There is a new phenomenon in the use of English among the new generation, which is to form a new word by adding or removing one or two alphabets based on the original one. For example, ‘spicy or spicey’, has the same structure as ‘pricy or pricey’. Spicy is the common word for describing a spicy flavor, but things don't work the same when describing high-priced products.

The word “pricey” is more common compared to “pricy”.

This is because some people liked “old” ways of saying things and started using them again in their everyday speech and social life.

What is the meaning of Pricy or Pricey? 

The word “Pricey” first appeared in public back in the 1670s. However, its existence on published written media content including poems, books, newspaper and other literature was in 1685. It has been widely used since then. This word is commonly used to describe products or services that cost a lot of money.

Formation of Adjectives by adding suffix -y 

In most cases, words that end with an “e” need to be removed after adding the suffix “y”. For example, “spice and spicy”, “noise and noisy”.

Root Adjective
Spice Spicy
Ease Easy
Shine Shiny
Noise Noisy
Cheese Cheesy
Cloud Cloudy
Health healthy
Dirt Dirty
Mess Messy
Speed Speedy
Greed Greedy

Which one is correct: Pricy or Pricey?  

When viewed from their linguistic aspect, both forms have roots in the word 'price' (noun). It is deformed into an adjective by affixing the suffix '-y'. That follows the concept of the derivational vowel, which converts a vowel word ending (in the case of 'price', the letter 'e' as a vowel is silent) into the '-y' or '-ey'.

Pricey is more accepted when there is a strict English grammar in place.

As a result, both pricy or pricey are correct! However, pricey has become a more common spelling that the public finds more convenient to use, while pricy has faded in usage over time.

Common Usage of Pricey 

The word "pricey"is commonly used in a variety of settings, here are some examples:

  1. When valuing expensive items or services, like luxury cars or high-end restaurants.
  2. Explaining the money value of products or services, and whether they are in the pricier category.
  3. In comparison to lower priced alternatives.
  4. As a descriptive word for a person who is obsessed with money or material possessions.
  5. Informal word, expensive is a professional term to use compared to pricey or pricy.

How To Use Pricey in a Sentence  

The following show some examples of how the word "pricey" can be used in a sentence:

  • "That English class wasn't a good deal, it was a bit pricey compared to online English class."
  • "The restaurant was nice, but the food was a bit pricey for my taste."
  • "The tourist spot was totally ripped off! It was overpriced. Yes, pricey wine!"

Pricey Synonym 

The word "pricey" is often used to describe products that cost a lot of money. Some synonyms for pricey: expensive, high-priced, overpriced, costly.

Difference Between Pricey and Expensive 

“Pricey” and “expensive” are similar but the former is informal while the latter is formal. Both words actually have the same meaning but these should be used in different situations.

  • The word “expensive” simply means high-cost, it is often said after knowing the product value label.
  • The word “pricey” is usually used to describe something that is unreasonably expensive or sumptuous.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

  1. Is "pricy" a proper English word?
  2. Yes, "pricy" is a word, but it is not considered as a standard English rule.

  3. Can "pricey" be used to describe something that is worth the price?
  4. Yes, "pricy or pricey" can be used to describe something that is expensive but worth the cost. Or to express something was on the pricier side with comparison of a known affordable option.

  5. What is the difference between "pricey" and "costly"?
  6. "Pricey" and "costly" have similar meanings, but "costly" is a more formal term that is often used in professional settings. Much like expensive.

  7. Can "pricey" be used to describe a person?
  8. Yes, "pricey" can be used to describe a person who has an outlook or exudes expensive feeling, lifestyles, or material possessions.

  9. Is "pricey" a positive or negative word?
  10. "Pricey" is neutral and can be used in both positive and negative contexts.


So in answering the subject matter of this article regarding the most appropriate form between the two, either "pricy or pricey" is both perfectly fine to use in any context. Various standard English dictionaries state that "pricy" is a less popular form of the word "pricey", but its use is still grammatically justified. Therefore, the word should be spelled “pricey” with an “e”. It is a casual term that is used in daily conversation to express something expensive or costs a lot of money. By knowing the meaning, you can use the word "pricey" correctly in both writing and speaking.

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