cost

noun
\ ˈkȯst \

Definition of cost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the amount or equivalent paid or charged for something : price The average cost of a college education has gone up dramatically.
b : the outlay or expenditure (as of effort or sacrifice) made to achieve an object He achieved fame, but at the cost of losing several friends.
2 : loss or penalty incurred especially in gaining something the cost of lives during war
3 costs plural : expenses incurred in a judicial process especially : those given by the law or the court to the prevailing party against the losing party
at all costs
: regardless of the cost or consequences was determined to win at all costs
at cost
: for the price of production buys clothes at cost directly from the manufacturer

cost

verb
cost; costing

Definition of cost (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to require expenditure or payment The best goods cost more.
2 : to require effort, suffering, or loss

transitive verb

1 : to have a price of Each ticket costs 25 dollars.
2 : to cause to pay, suffer, or lose something Frequent absences cost him his job.
3 past costed\ ˈkä-​stəd \ : to estimate or set the cost of often used with out The project has yet to be costed out.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cost

Noun

costless \ ˈkȯst-​ləs \ adjective
costlessly adverb

Examples of cost in a Sentence

Noun

She attends college at a cost of $15,000 a year. The average cost of raising a family has increased dramatically. We offer services at a fraction of the cost of other companies. What's the difference in cost? They believe that everyone should have access to adequate medical care, regardless of cost. The cost of doing business in this area is high. We need better cost control. Winning the war, he believes, was worth the cost in lives. What are the costs and benefits of the new law?

Verb

The trip will cost you about $100 each way. The project will end up costing the government an estimated 3.5 billion dollars. It will cost you a lot of money, but it'll be worth it. His frequent absences ended up costing him his job. The error cost me a reprimand, but nothing more serious than that. a blunder that has cost her considerable embarrassment
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The burgundy Sallyet dress by Club Monaco, which features long sleeves and a velvet collar, was available at a cost of only $228 and appears to have already sold out in stores. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Club Monaco Mini Dress to Reunite with Grenfell Fire Survivors," 21 Nov. 2018 Large practices, training clinics, and community health centers sometimes offer group therapy facilitated by a licensed therapist at a very low cost, Vaile Wright says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "7 Ways to Find an Actually Affordable Therapist," 15 Feb. 2019 As economic consultants William Grindley and Bill Warren document in a recent study, a worker who lives in Fresno would spend 10 hours and 20 minutes each day commuting to San Jose at a cost of $154 round trip—assuming no subsidies. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Death of a California Dream," 13 Feb. 2019 But orders for the aircraft have waned dramatically in recent years, with carriers placing an emphasis on modern planes that can make longer journeys at a slimmer cost. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "50 Years On, Boeing's 747 Is Fighting for Survival," 11 Feb. 2019 That said, any plan that restricts real, whole foods and requires nutrient supplementation comes at a cost. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Diet Pills and Supplements May Hurt Your Health and Waste Your Money," 16 Jan. 2019 After leaving a message on his childhood love’s answering machine, Jack is determined to erase the message at any cost. Vogue, "The Best New Year’s Eve–Theme Movies and TV Shows to Watch Tonight," 31 Dec. 2018 Significantly, the flight will take place on Mitsubishi's new H3 rocket, which was designed and developed to fly at a lower cost in order to attract more commercial business. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Entering a crowded market, Japan’s new rocket scores an early win," 21 Dec. 2018 Your $4 copay may soon become a $50 co-insurance cost, depending on how the new Congress and the new Court approach things like the Affordable Care Act. Molly Finneseth, Glamour, "How to Be Prepared if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned," 22 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

A few days ago, Louis Vuitton announced their very first piece of audio gear: wireless earbuds, made in four different colorways, that cost a whopping $995. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Lil Uzi Vert Has Fashion’s Hottest New Accessory (No, Not a Man Bag)," 25 Jan. 2019 So bless celebrity makeup artist Jami Svay, who favors one skin- and hair-care product that barely costs a thing: castor oil. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Why Castor Oil Is the Secret to Flawless Skin and Healthy Hair," 14 Jan. 2019 Deliveries, a Mac app that costs $4.99, is just that. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The first 11 apps to install on your new Mac," 27 Dec. 2018 Scott chose to reshoot the scenes in which Spacey appeared with Christopher Plummer replacing Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty, a move that reportedly cost $10 million and took about nine days. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 Apple plans to build a 133-acre corporate campus in Austin, Texas, that will cost $1 billion and create about 15,000 new jobs. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook wants you to buy — and watch — HBO on Facebook," 14 Dec. 2018 Some were modest and homegrown, and others cost half a million dollars. Phoebe Lapine, Marie Claire, "How to Marry a Guy in Five Days," 18 Jan. 2019 These nine blow dryers come highly recommended by Amazon reviewers and most of them cost less than $50 to boot. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 9 Best Blow Dryers, According to Amazon Reviews," 16 Jan. 2019 Until now, GeForce GPUs only worked with Nvidia’s rival G-Sync monitors, which require special hardware and thus cost much more money. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cost.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cost

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cost

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French custer, couster, from Latin constare to stand firm, cost — more at constant

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cost

Dictionary Entries near cost

Cossidae

Cossus

cossyrite

cost

costa

Costa

Costa Brava

Statistics for cost

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cost

The first known use of cost was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cost

cost

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the price of something : the amount of money that is needed to pay for or buy something
: an amount of money that must be spent regularly to pay for something (such as running a business or raising a family)
: something that is lost, damaged, or given up in order to achieve or get something

cost

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cost (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have (an amount of money) as a price
: to cause (someone) to pay an amount of money
: to cause (someone) to lose something

cost

verb
\ ˈkȯst \
cost; costing

Kids Definition of cost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to have a price of He bought a ticket costing one dollar.
2 : to cause the payment, spending, or loss of Being lazy cost me my job.

cost

noun

Kids Definition of cost (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the amount paid or charged for something : price
2 : loss or penalty involved in gaining something Losing my friends was the cost of moving.

cost

noun

Legal Definition of cost

1 : the amount or equivalent paid or charged for something
2  plural : expenses incurred in litigation especially : those given by the law or the court to the prevailing party against the losing party

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cost

Spanish Central: Translation of cost

Nglish: Translation of cost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cost for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cost

Comments on cost

What made you want to look up cost? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!