at someone's expense

at (one's) expense

1. One's financial responsibility. Once I learned that the trip was at my expense, I decided not to go.
2. To one's detriment or disadvantage. I was furious when I heard the other kids telling jokes at my little brother's expense.
See also: expense

at someone's expense

COMMON If someone laughs or makes a joke at your expense, they laugh or make a joke about you. Danny told them about my accident and they all had a good laugh at my expense. There was plenty of laughter, most of it at my expense.
See also: expense
References in periodicals archive ?
My agent was excited; which is always a sign he's going to make a lot of money at someone's expense.
Dele Alli forced his way into the team over two or three games, that was at someone's expense.
Heck, if you watch any humorous TV or movies, it's always done at someone's expense.
IT'S VERY easy to crack jokes at someone's expense -- all you need is a little bit of brain power, something almost everyone possesses.
However, his complaints drew short shrift from O'Neill, who explained that he is free to sit on the sideline if he wishes, though it would be at someone's expense.
People who are sick or injured will be cared for at someone's expense, often in emergency rooms, which are the most expensive means of providing care.
Newmarket renews itself, but always at someone's expense.
Power and all the other good or interesting things out there exist in limited quantities, and so if I want to gain in power, I must do so at someone's expense.
funniest moment in the kitchen: There are always funny moments, but mine are always at someone's expense, so best not to refresh their memories.
Don't ever laugh at someone's expense in this situation, because that will be perceived as con and heartless, regardless of what you meant by it; but do keep the ability to laugh at yourself and the situations that present themselves.
The judge and the law decide what is greed for profit at someone's expense, and what is simply good business.
Certainly the discounter's food sales are coming at someone's expense.
Former Commissioner Bill Fleenor, dismissed by Gillespie as an individual defendant, could have been dragged back into the case and would have required a defense at someone's expense.
NOW Dressed in the Dark likes a joke as much as the next vitriolic style commentator, especially if it's at someone's expense.
A BBC1 show Spy TV, hosted by Ian Wright (left), needs people who want to have a laugh at someone's expense.