Definition of cost in English:

cost

verb

[with object]
  • 1(of an object or action) require the payment of (a specified sum of money) before it can be acquired or done.

    ‘each issue of the magazine costs £1’
    with two objects ‘the journey will cost her £25’
    • ‘Answering such questions would require collecting better evidence, which costs real money.’
    • ‘Books cost money and require the user to read them for the idea to spread.’
    • ‘It costs a reasonable sum of money to get in, and it never struck me as being worthwhile to pay it for a quick lunchtime scan.’
    • ‘Some of these benefits cost significant sums of money to provide.’
    • ‘The empire cost a vast sum of money to run and trade brought in much of that money.’
    • ‘His last jaunt to Bermuda cost the princely sum of 27.50 a night.’
    • ‘The four-year Olympic cycle for preparation of Bulgaria cost the humble sum of seven million leva.’
    • ‘A pay hike for staff and an increase in NI payments are costing millions.’
    • ‘A North Yorkshire museum is so unpopular it costs council tax payers a whopping £9.78 per visitor to keep it open.’
    • ‘On the flip side of the coin they cost the British tax payer millions every year, and have become out of touch with the public.’
    • ‘It costs money to restore these buildings and keep them in good order.’
    • ‘It costs money to improve security and make those kind of things happen.’
    • ‘He suggested that the quality of the work was better than much of what was done in the private sector today costing large sums of money.’
    • ‘Major alterations costing huge sums had been made to the building to make it suitable for the regeneration scheme.’
    • ‘But the arrangement, plus the cost of essential repairs and maintenance, means it is costing council tax payers £66,000 a year just to keep the building ticking over.’
    • ‘With delays and changes to software requirements costing extra money, there is always the danger that projects could spin out of control, ultimately delaying services and profits.’
    • ‘He says that their current ad campaign is costing a five-figure sum.’
    • ‘The Government's removal of tax relief on dividend payments has cost the pensions industry billions of pounds.’
    • ‘Expansion costs money, but revenue has never been a problem for this entrepreneur.’
    • ‘She must dial a long distance number, which can cost great sums of money for extended Internet use.’
    be priced at, sell for, be valued at, fetch, come to, amount to, be
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cause the loss or unpleasant consequence of.
      with two objects ‘driving at more than double the speed limit cost the woman her driving licence’
      • ‘The slight loss of concentration in the final corner which cost her a skeleton medal on Friday highlighted the point.’
      • ‘It was the Hokies' only loss, and it cost them another shot at a national title.’
      • ‘Two of the women suing told yesterday how the side effects almost cost them their lives.’
      • ‘A factory worker has won a payout of more than £100,000 after an accident at work cost him his left hand.’
      • ‘To me, this effort is costing him power and accuracy.’
      • ‘That loss a couple of weeks ago probably cost the Dubliners their league chances but this game is not about revenge.’
      • ‘The two drivers were involved in a mishap on the track that cost him the lead and put him out of the race.’
      • ‘The midweek loss cost the Celts second place in the table.’
      • ‘He was then seriously injured in a car accident that nearly cost him his leg.’
      • ‘It was a lack of putting touch that cost him the chance of achieving his long-held dream of playing in The Open.’
      • ‘The player, whose careless touches cost Aberdeen possession all afternoon, hooked it over the bar with his left foot.’
      • ‘But local wildlife officials have vetoed this idea so far, he said, and this has cost him clients.’
      • ‘In 1966, this hazardous situation led to a catastrophe costing the lives of 44 men, injuring hundreds more, and causing millions of dollars of damage.’
      • ‘It was a huge risk that could have cost him his job.’
      • ‘In the space of 15 minutes they struck the ball wide on four occasions and this cost them the game.’
      • ‘It's the same arrogance that cost them the General Election.’
      • ‘As many as 300,000 are employed in restaurants, hotels and other travel-related business and officials say the attack could end up costing half of them their jobs.’
      • ‘Again the ineffectiveness of him cost the attack much of its ability to maintain serious pressure.’
      • ‘In both away matches this season, Livi have sat in and invited attack, which duly cost them goals.’
      • ‘He had a fly ball sail over his head for a double, and it cost the team three runs.’
      cause the loss of, cause the sacrifice of, lead to the end of
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    2. 1.2informal Be expensive for (someone)
      ‘if you want to own an island, it'll cost you’
      • ‘I will never regret my decision to go public, even though it has cost me greatly in many ways.’
      • ‘The garbage may also cost us again when we accidentally throw away important information.’
      • ‘There are too many things that cost and not enough stuff that doesn't cost you.’
      • ‘He did not want to consider the public tendencies then and he did the same thing now, two years afterwards, which cost him.’
  • 2Estimate the price of.

    ‘it is their job to plan and cost a media schedule for the campaign’
    • ‘He did criticise them for failing to cost their plans properly.’
    • ‘He said details of Labor's fully costed plan would have to wait until closer to the election.’
    • ‘They have always had costed plans to make sure pensions are funded generously.’
    • ‘It's not costed into the price of our t-shirts.’
    • ‘The station, in its application to the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, states that its plan has been fully costed and the necessary finance is in place, confirmed and available.’
    • ‘It has to be confiscation, not purchase, as the ‘retrieval’ was not costed, or any price quoted.’
    • ‘No, New Labour refuted the advert because they say the plans aren't costed properly.’
    • ‘Will you please now prepare detailed and fully costed contingency plans?’
    • ‘Has anyone costed the price of a unit of electricity?’
    • ‘Two public meetings will be held to discuss the plans, which will then be modified and a fully costed business plan will be drawn up to gain funding.’
    • ‘On March 27 a one day course on Manual Payroll is planned and on April 10 you can attend a one day course on pricing and costing techniques.’
    • ‘This would form the basis for plans which can be costed and a suitable site found.’
    • ‘They also insisted that the plan had been fully costed and could even save the NHS money.’
    • ‘Mr Gwynn said those ideas would then be turned into a plan that would be costed out and presented to the Government.’
    • ‘He said the plans would be carefully costed and clear for all to see.’
    • ‘First, if a comprehensive Schedule of Dilapidations is costed the cost which the tenant would have had to incur to comply with the repairing covenants is ascertained.’
    value, price, put a price on, put a value on, put a figure on, estimate the cost of, estimate the price of, evaluate
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noun

  • 1An amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something.

    ‘we are able to cover the cost of the event’
    ‘health-care costs’
    mass noun ‘the tunnel has been built at no cost to the state’
    • ‘They've had to work 10 % harder to raise funds to cover increased running costs.’
    • ‘Another factor to consider is the high costs associated with repairing major appliances.’
    • ‘He says the vandalism is so commonplace costs for groups to use the community hall are set to help cover the cost of repairs.’
    • ‘If this amount cannot cover the cost of the claim, then the balance is met out of the public purse.’
    • ‘To support the show and to help cover the cost of prize money, we are selling advertising for the night.’
    • ‘After all, after World War I, it used to cover the cost of pretty much any college degree.’
    • ‘The entrance fee of £1.50 will cover the cost of tea or coffee with biscuits.’
    • ‘The amount is only enough to cover the cost of transportation and food.’
    • ‘In many regions, the amount of cash payments for travel did not cover the cost of a monthly pass.’
    • ‘The fee per session is 5 euro to cover the cost of coaching and insurance.’
    • ‘Now that the industry is approaching its mature phase, prices can afford to rise to cover average total cost.’
    • ‘She defended her decision to ask the students for the amount to cover the cost of repair.’
    • ‘The result is a significantly reduced total cost of ownership for the storage infrastructure.’
    • ‘They may also incur additional operating costs into the future.’
    • ‘All need to raise a substantial amount of money to cover the cost of flights, accommodation and expenses for the nine-day trip.’
    • ‘But it incurs the additional sunk cost of setting up a foreign plant.’
    • ‘Also, what you save on plane tickets alone might cover the cost of one cruise.’
    • ‘Envelopes for people wishing to give a donation to cover the cost of maintenance are now available.’
    • ‘Did the fuel tanker rebuild facility request a higher average cost per unit?’
    • ‘With budgets tight, people are choosing to cut extra costs in order to save.’
    price, asking price, market price, selling price, fee, tariff, fare, toll, levy, charge, hire charge, rental
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    1. 1.1 The effort, loss, or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.
      ‘the government succeeded in diverting resources away from consumption at considerable cost to its political popularity’
      • ‘It's economic success has been achieved at the cost of considerable environmental degradation.’
      • ‘This is especially the case in minimizing labor costs, which is often achieved at the cost of the rights of workers.’
      • ‘Such a channel bonanza, however, may come at the cost of sacrificing channel capacity.’
      • ‘Higher real wages were therefore achieved at the cost of tighter work discipline and an increase in the workload.’
      • ‘Yet visual primacy is often at the cost of more effective aural forms of communication.’
      • ‘The loss of drums and effects doesn't come at the cost of intensity; quite the reverse.’
      • ‘To wait until such a time as when you have complete understanding, at the cost of so many lives, is the failure of leadership.’
      • ‘Of course we all want to see all possible diseases cured, but surely not at the cost of human sacrifice?’
      • ‘But in their own way they give him the best they can even at the cost of sacrificing things for themselves.’
      • ‘It can reduce the risks from these bugs, at the cost of modest effort on the part of the programmer.’
      • ‘In this situation entrepreneurs are said to achieve prosperity at the cost of human lives.’
      • ‘These give excellent levels of grip on tarmac and in mud, but this is at the cost of some tyre rumble and a slight loss of precision.’
      • ‘The stability of his government was achieved at the cost of an inability to introduce a crucial but divisive reform of the pension system.’
      • ‘The worst off aren't helped if equality is achieved at the cost of them getting poorer.’
      • ‘She did it twice and repaired the rigging, but at the cost of damage to herself.’
      • ‘I only hope that my newly achieved rights and freedoms will not be at the cost of someone else's.’
      • ‘In addition, while conservative, this assumption is made at the cost of a great loss in power.’
      • ‘Sometimes, early success is achieved at the cost of a child's childhood.’
      • ‘It has since clawed back market share, but only at the cost of sacrificing a good chunk of profit margin.’
      • ‘The use of quality criteria makes comparison of trials easier to understand, but at the cost of inevitable loss of accuracy.’
      penalty, sacrifice, loss
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    2. 1.2costs Legal expenses, especially those allowed in favour of the winning party or against the losing party in a suit.
      ‘costs may be awarded to a successful private prosecutor out of central funds’
      • ‘Holding MPC liable for the defendants' costs would discourage the funding of litigation.’
      • ‘The defendants were also ordered to pay the adjudicator's fees and the costs of the claimants.’
      • ‘Mr Bacon's primary submission was that party does not get costs of a counterclaim unless the order provides.’
      • ‘The bill allows the employee to seek penalties, interest, costs of the suit, and attorney fees.’
      • ‘There will also be detailed assessment of the claimant's costs for public funding purposes.’
      • ‘The applicant is to pay the costs of the respondent of the summons on an indemnity basis.’
      • ‘The first defendant has agreed to pay the claimant's costs in the sum of £13, 975.’
      • ‘The adjudication clause permits the Adjudicator to award costs to the winning party.’
      • ‘The claim is dismissed and the order makes provision for the legal aid assessment of costs.’
      • ‘The main issue was whether there should be security for costs posted by the plaintiff.’
      • ‘I am therefore urged on behalf of the applicants to make orders for payment of their legal costs now that the legal position is clear.’
      • ‘Number One is the represented litigant who is compensated for both costs and counsel fees.’
      • ‘These can include requirements such as security for costs from foreign plaintiffs, or the denial of legal aid.’
      • ‘In particular, the costs to be allowed to a solicitor litigant in person are to be subject to the two thirds restriction.’
      • ‘If there is an appeal, then we would be able to recover our costs against the legal aid fund.’
      • ‘It is thought that the costs and legal fees cost him most of his career earnings.’
      • ‘There is no evidence from the three external funders that they will cease to fund the defendants' costs.’
      • ‘Accordingly, no profit costs should be allowed to the appellants for work done by their partnership.’
      • ‘The son was convicted but the defendant was acquitted and awarded his costs out of central funds.’
      • ‘The Swiss trial court charged the applicant with the bulk of the court costs of the action and part of the costs of the private prosecutors.’
      expenses, outgoings, disbursements, overheads, running costs, operating costs, fixed costs
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • at all costs (or at any cost)

    • Regardless of the price to be paid or the effort needed.

      ‘he was anxious to avoid war at all costs’
      • ‘No country can touch them in terms of talent but something was lost along the way - the drive for winning at all costs.’
      • ‘It is more a reflection on the desire to win at all costs rather than an indictment of science.’
      • ‘He is a sore loser who wants to win at all costs, always and everywhere.’
      • ‘Investors bailed out, fearing it had decided to take control of a US business at any cost in an effort to take its brand across the Atlantic.’
      • ‘Neutrality is a position of principle which should not be bartered at any cost or for any price.’
      • ‘It made me realise that war was not to be entered into lightly, and, indeed, was to be avoided at all costs if at all possible.’
      • ‘He said the policy of the ministry is to keep the price of fuel low at all costs.’
      • ‘The use of abusive language and mudslinging or character assassination should be avoided at any cost.’
      • ‘It seems that their agenda is growth at any cost regardless of the wishes of the people.’
      • ‘My case was not about justice, but about the government's determination to win at all costs.’
  • at cost

    • At cost price; without profit to the seller.

      • ‘In contrast, many short term fixed rate deals available exclusively to new borrowers were sold at cost or even a slight loss.’
      • ‘Property and equipment are stated at cost and depreciated using the straight-line method over estimated useful lives of 3 to 10 years.’
      • ‘More importantly, they own the investment manager, which operates at cost.’
      • ‘The two units sell inventory back and forth at cost.’
      • ‘‘We're going to offer these carts at cost when we're done using them,’ said Jones.’
      • ‘But for most retailers who essentially sell diapers at cost, the extra effort is more daunting - with no significant payoff.’
      • ‘It was painful to think about selling it at cost.’
      • ‘The remaining property assets are still included in the balance sheet at cost or at existing use valuations that are more than a decade old.’
      • ‘The second problem is that once you reach the level of success of a classic, selling at cost is no fun at all.’
      • ‘It was owned by the shareholders of its 11 funds and provided the administrative services to them at cost.’
  • cost someone dear (or dearly)

    • Involve someone in a serious loss or a heavy penalty.

      ‘they were really bad mistakes on my part and they cost us dear’
      • ‘These extended redemption penalties can cost you dearly in the long run.’
      • ‘It's a tough movie to watch at times and whatever redemption its characters find costs them dearly.’
      • ‘For 88 minutes of games we are working well but then it's a lack of concentration all over the pitch and those mistakes are costing us dear.’
      • ‘The poor set-pieces nearly cost them dear on the half-hour mark.’
      • ‘Factory farming costs us, and the animals involved, dearly.’
      • ‘Mr Bloomer's failure to do so may end up costing him dear.’
      • ‘Impulse buys and rash decisions might end up costing you dear.’
      • ‘On paper they are a formidable outfit but poor decision making and a concession of penalties are costing them dearly.’
      • ‘His two losses in a row in the fifth and sixth rounds cost him dearly.’
  • to someone's cost

    • With loss or disadvantage to someone.

      ‘without programmes to play on it, the cleverest machine is useless—as some hardware manufacturers already know to their cost’
      • ‘As many other firms have found out to their cost, this means it can be difficult to secure arguably the two main essentials for getting a business off the ground.’
      • ‘But the game is about goals and, to their cost, they were unable to turn their periods of superiority into that all-important statistic.’
      • ‘He had already found, to his cost, that jumping in feet first was a disastrous idea.’
      • ‘As many former employees have found to their cost, inhaling asbestos dust can have very serious consequences.’
      • ‘That would be a major loss, as they learned to their cost yesterday.’
      • ‘Wapping Station is one of the deepest in London - as local residents found to their cost when it was forced to close during outbreaks of the fireman's strike recently.’
      • ‘It is vital that servants can be trusted to be the souls of discretion - as they have learnt to their cost with real-life ‘What the Butler Saw’ scandals.’
      • ‘However, a number of sellers have realised to their cost that it offers little protection if the sale goes wrong.’
      • ‘As all teenagers discover to their cost, they're a little sorry when it's too late.’
      • ‘It's goals not chances that win matches - as they found out to their cost in the 1-0 loss.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French coust (noun), couster (verb), based on Latin constare ‘stand firm, stand at a price’.

Pronunciation

cost

/kɒst/