Definition of cost in US 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 $2.25’
    • ‘A North Yorkshire museum is so unpopular it costs council tax payers a whopping £9.78 per visitor to keep it open.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It costs money to restore these buildings and keep them in good order.’
    • ‘She must dial a long distance number, which can cost great sums of money for extended Internet use.’
    • ‘The Government's removal of tax relief on dividend payments has cost the pensions industry billions of pounds.’
    • ‘Some of these benefits cost significant sums of money to provide.’
    • ‘A pay hike for staff and an increase in NI payments are costing millions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His last jaunt to Bermuda cost the princely sum of 27.50 a night.’
    • ‘Expansion costs money, but revenue has never been a problem for this entrepreneur.’
    • ‘The four-year Olympic cycle for preparation of Bulgaria cost the humble sum of seven million leva.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The empire cost a vast sum of money to run and trade brought in much of that money.’
    • ‘He says that their current ad campaign is costing a five-figure sum.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Books cost money and require the user to read them for the idea to spread.’
    • ‘It costs money to improve security and make those kind of things happen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Answering such questions would require collecting better evidence, which costs real money.’
    • ‘Major alterations costing huge sums had been made to the building to make it suitable for the regeneration scheme.’
    be priced at, sell for, be valued at, fetch, come to, amount to, be
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cause the loss of.
      ‘driving at more than double the speed limit cost the woman her driving license’
      • ‘In both away matches this season, Livi have sat in and invited attack, which duly cost them goals.’
      • ‘He was then seriously injured in a car accident that nearly cost him his leg.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That loss a couple of weeks ago probably cost the Dubliners their league chances but this game is not about revenge.’
      • ‘The slight loss of concentration in the final corner which cost her a skeleton medal on Friday highlighted the point.’
      • ‘It was a huge risk that could have cost him his job.’
      • ‘But local wildlife officials have vetoed this idea so far, he said, and this has cost him clients.’
      • ‘To me, this effort is costing him power and accuracy.’
      • ‘He had a fly ball sail over his head for a double, and it cost the team three runs.’
      • ‘The player, whose careless touches cost Aberdeen possession all afternoon, hooked it over the bar with his left foot.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a lack of putting touch that cost him the chance of achieving his long-held dream of playing in The Open.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Two of the women suing told yesterday how the side effects almost cost them their lives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was the Hokies' only loss, and it cost them another shot at a national title.’
      • ‘Again the ineffectiveness of him cost the attack much of its ability to maintain serious pressure.’
      • ‘A factory worker has won a payout of more than £100,000 after an accident at work cost him his left hand.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The garbage may also cost us again when we accidentally throw away important information.’
  • 2Estimate the price of.

    ‘it is their job to plan and cost a media schedule for the campaign’
    • ‘Will you please now prepare detailed and fully costed contingency plans?’
    • ‘This would form the basis for plans which can be costed and a suitable site found.’
    • ‘They have always had costed plans to make sure pensions are funded generously.’
    • ‘They also insisted that the plan had been fully costed and could even save the NHS money.’
    • ‘No, New Labour refuted the advert because they say the plans aren't costed properly.’
    • ‘He did criticise them for failing to cost their plans properly.’
    • ‘He said the plans would be carefully costed and clear for all to see.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Has anyone costed the price of a unit of electricity?’
    • ‘It's not costed into the price of our t-shirts.’
    • ‘It has to be confiscation, not purchase, as the ‘retrieval’ was not costed, or any price quoted.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said details of Labor's fully costed plan would have to wait until closer to the election.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr Gwynn said those ideas would then be turned into a plan that would be costed out and presented to the Government.’
    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’
    ‘the tunnel has been built at no cost to the state’
    ‘health care costs’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now that the industry is approaching its mature phase, prices can afford to rise to cover average total cost.’
    • ‘The entrance fee of £1.50 will cover the cost of tea or coffee with biscuits.’
    • ‘Did the fuel tanker rebuild facility request a higher average cost per unit?’
    • ‘Also, what you save on plane tickets alone might cover the cost of one cruise.’
    • ‘After all, after World War I, it used to cover the cost of pretty much any college degree.’
    • ‘He says the vandalism is so commonplace costs for groups to use the community hall are set to help cover the cost of repairs.’
    • ‘The amount is only enough to cover the cost of transportation and food.’
    • ‘Another factor to consider is the high costs associated with repairing major appliances.’
    • ‘All need to raise a substantial amount of money to cover the cost of flights, accommodation and expenses for the nine-day trip.’
    • ‘The fee per session is 5 euro to cover the cost of coaching and insurance.’
    • ‘If this amount cannot cover the cost of the claim, then the balance is met out of the public purse.’
    • ‘Envelopes for people wishing to give a donation to cover the cost of maintenance are now available.’
    • ‘They may also incur additional operating costs into the future.’
    • ‘They've had to work 10 % harder to raise funds to cover increased running costs.’
    • ‘In many regions, the amount of cash payments for travel did not cover the cost of a monthly pass.’
    • ‘With budgets tight, people are choosing to cut extra costs in order to save.’
    • ‘To support the show and to help cover the cost of prize money, we are selling advertising for the night.’
    • ‘But it incurs the additional sunk cost of setting up a foreign plant.’
    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.
      ‘she averted a train accident at the cost of her life’
      • ‘The use of quality criteria makes comparison of trials easier to understand, but at the cost of inevitable loss of accuracy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In addition, while conservative, this assumption is made at the cost of a great loss in power.’
      • ‘She did it twice and repaired the rigging, but at the cost of damage to herself.’
      • ‘It has since clawed back market share, but only at the cost of sacrificing a good chunk of profit margin.’
      • ‘To wait until such a time as when you have complete understanding, at the cost of so many lives, is the failure of leadership.’
      • ‘Higher real wages were therefore achieved at the cost of tighter work discipline and an increase in the workload.’
      • ‘The worst off aren't helped if equality is achieved at the cost of them getting poorer.’
      • ‘Sometimes, early success is achieved at the cost of a child's childhood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's economic success has been achieved at the cost of considerable environmental degradation.’
      • ‘The stability of his government was achieved at the cost of an inability to introduce a crucial but divisive reform of the pension system.’
      • ‘Of course we all want to see all possible diseases cured, but surely not at the cost of human sacrifice?’
      • ‘Yet visual primacy is often at the cost of more effective aural forms of communication.’
      • ‘This is especially the case in minimizing labor costs, which is often achieved at the cost of the rights of workers.’
      • ‘The loss of drums and effects doesn't come at the cost of intensity; quite the reverse.’
      • ‘I only hope that my newly achieved rights and freedoms will not be at the cost of someone else's.’
      • ‘Such a channel bonanza, however, may come at the cost of sacrificing channel capacity.’
      • ‘In this situation entrepreneurs are said to achieve prosperity at the cost of human lives.’
      penalty, sacrifice, loss
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    2. 1.2costs Legal expenses, especially those allowed in favor of the winning party or against the losing party in a suit.
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Accordingly, no profit costs should be allowed to the appellants for work done by their partnership.’
      • ‘These can include requirements such as security for costs from foreign plaintiffs, or the denial of legal aid.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is no evidence from the three external funders that they will cease to fund the defendants' costs.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The applicant is to pay the costs of the respondent of the summons on an indemnity basis.’
      • ‘It is thought that the costs and legal fees cost him most of his career earnings.’
      • ‘If there is an appeal, then we would be able to recover our costs against the legal aid fund.’
      • ‘The defendants were also ordered to pay the adjudicator's fees and the costs of the claimants.’
      • ‘The son was convicted but the defendant was acquitted and awarded his costs out of central funds.’
      • ‘Holding MPC liable for the defendants' costs would discourage the funding of litigation.’
      • ‘In particular, the costs to be allowed to a solicitor litigant in person are to be subject to the two thirds restriction.’
      • ‘Mr Bacon's primary submission was that party does not get costs of a counterclaim unless the order provides.’
      • ‘Number One is the represented litigant who is compensated for both costs and counsel fees.’
      expenses, outgoings, disbursements, overheads, running costs, operating costs, fixed costs
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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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Neutrality is a position of principle which should not be bartered at any cost or for any price.’
      • ‘He said the policy of the ministry is to keep the price of fuel low at all costs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No country can touch them in terms of talent but something was lost along the way - the drive for winning at all costs.’
      • ‘The use of abusive language and mudslinging or character assassination should be avoided at any cost.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My case was not about justice, but about the government's determination to win at all costs.’
      • ‘It seems that their agenda is growth at any cost regardless of the wishes of the people.’
  • at cost

    • At cost price; without profit to the seller.

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

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

      ‘they were really bad mistakes on my part and they cost us dearly’
      • ‘These extended redemption penalties can cost you dearly in the long run.’
      • ‘The poor set-pieces nearly cost them dear on the half-hour mark.’
      • ‘On paper they are a formidable outfit but poor decision making and a concession of penalties are costing 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a tough movie to watch at times and whatever redemption its characters find costs them dearly.’
      • ‘His two losses in a row in the fifth and sixth rounds cost him dearly.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cost

/kôst//kɔst/