indirect cost


Definition of indirect cost

: a cost that is not identifiable with a specific product, function, or activity

Examples of indirect cost in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Regardless of how small the measurable, direct impact of additional flights caused by loyalty programs, their indirect cost is high. Seth Kugel, New York Times, "Are Frequent Flier Miles Killing the Planet?," 5 Mar. 2020 The ambassadors’ cherry-picking method—to focus solely on deaths of service members and line-item budget costs—is to ignore the considerable indirect costs of war, costs that can’t be wished away. Adam Wunische, The New Republic, "The Real Costs of the War in Afghanistan," 27 Sep. 2019 While Trump on Thursday continued to insist China was paying the cost of his tariffs, CEOs have in earnings calls over the last few weeks repeatedly detailed the rising direct and indirect costs to their businesses. Los Angeles Times, "Stock traders face a brutal 72 hours, caught in a Trump-Powell squeeze," 2 Aug. 2019 The special counsel's office has incurred direct and indirect costs totaling $25.2 million through Sept. 30, 2018, according to expenditure reports. NBC News, "How much did Mueller's investigation cost? Millions," 25 July 2019 JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon spoke of the indirect costs of trade tensions to business confidence and investment. Aaron Back, WSJ, "Investors Aren’t Buying Bank Chiefs’ Optimism," 5 Dec. 2018 Advancing orders early carries direct and potentially indirect costs for retailers and manufacturers. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Imports Surge at U.S. Ports as Companies Brace for New Tariffs," 15 Nov. 2018 These sources cover both the direct medical costs and the indirect costs of each condition; for instance, one paper estimates the total cost of chronic back pain in the US. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "A new, eye-wateringly high estimate of the cost of obesity in the US," 1 Nov. 2018 In a speech, Mr. Carney said that a trade war would have direct costs to the global economy through reduced trade as well as indirect costs ranging from weaker business and consumer confidence to higher inflation and sagging productivity growth. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Trade War Could Knock Global Growth, Says Bank of England Governor," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indirect 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 indirect cost

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indirect cost

Time Traveler for indirect cost

Time Traveler

The first known use of indirect cost was circa 1909

See more words from the same year

Statistics for indirect cost

Cite this Entry

“Indirect cost.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Comments on indirect cost

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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