cost ( costs plural & 3rd person present) ( costing present participle )
The form cost is used in the present tense, and is also the past tense and participle, except for meaning 4, where the form costed is used.
1 n-count The costof something is the amount of money that is needed in order to buy, do, or make it.
usu sing, oft N of n
The cost of a loaf of bread has increased five-fold..., In 1989 the price of coffee fell so low that in many countries it did not even cover the cost of production..., Badges are also available at a cost of £2.50.
2 verb If something costs a particular amount of money, you can buy, do, or make it for that amount.
This course is limited to 12 people and costs £50... V amount
It's going to cost me over $100,000 to buy new trucks. V n amount
3 n-plural Your costs are the total amount of money that you must spend on running your home or business.
Costs have been cut by 30 to 50 per cent...
4 verb When something that you plan to do or make is costed, the amount of money you need is calculated in advance.
Everything that goes into making a programme, staff, rent, lighting, is now costed. be V-ed
...seventy apartments, shops, offices, a restaurant and hotel, costed at around 10 million pounds. V-ed
Cost out means the same as cost., phrasal verb
...training days for charity staff on how to draw up contracts and cost out proposals... V P n (not pron)
It is always worth having a loft conversion costed out. have n V-ed P, Also V n P
5 n-plural If someone is ordered by a court of law to pay costs, they have to pay a sum of money towards the expenses of a court case they are involved in.
He was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay £550 costs.
6 n-uncount If something is sold atcost, it is sold for the same price as it cost the seller to buy it.
...a store that provided cigarettes and candy bars at cost.
7 n-sing The costof something is the loss, damage, or injury that is involved in trying to achieve it.
oft N of n
In March Mr Salinas shut down the city's oil refinery at a cost of $500 million and 5,000 jobs., ...being so afraid of something that you feel you have to avoid it whatever the cost to your lifestyle.
8 verb If an event or mistake costs you something, you lose that thing as the result of it.
...a six-year-old boy whose life was saved by an operation that cost him his sight... V n n
The increase will hurt small business and cost many thousands of jobs. V n
9 If you say that something must be avoided at all costs, you are emphasizing that it must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances.
at all costs phrase PHR after v (emphasis)
They told Jacques Delors a disastrous world trade war must be avoided at all costs.
10 If you say that something must be done at any cost, you are emphasizing that it must be done, even if this requires a lot of effort or money.
at any cost phrase PHR after v (emphasis)
This book is of such importance that it must be published at any cost...
11 If you say that something costs money, you mean that it has to be paid for, and perhaps cannot be afforded.
cost money phrase V inflects
Well-designed clothes cost money.
12 If you know something to your cost, you know it because of an unpleasant experience that you have had.
to one's cost phrase PHR after v
Kathryn knows to her cost the effect of having served a jail sentence...
to cost someone dear →
dear cost out →
Cost accounting is the recording and analysis of all the various costs of running a business. (BUSINESS) n-uncount
Something that is cost-effective saves or makes a lot of money in comparison with the costs involved. adj
The bank must be run in a cost-effective way.
cost-effectively adv ADV after v
The management tries to produce the magazine as cost-effectively as possible.
A Home Office report has raised doubts about the cost-effectiveness of the proposals.
cost of living
The cost of living is the average amount of money that people in a particular place need in order to be able to afford basic food, housing, and clothing. n-sing
Companies are moving jobs to towns with a lower cost of living.
A cost-plus basis for a contract about work to be done is one in which the buyer agrees to pay the seller or contractor all the cost plus a profit. adj ADJ n
All vessels were to be built on a cost-plus basis.
cost price ( cost prices plural ) If something is sold atcost price, it is sold for the same price as it cost the seller to buy it.
(BRIT) n-var oft at N
...a factory shop where you can buy very fashionable shoes at cost price...
unit cost ( unit costs plural ) Unit cost is the amount of money that it costs a company to produce one article. (BUSINESS) n-count
They aim to reduce unit costs through extra sales.