cost

noun
\ ˈkȯst How to pronounce cost (audio) \

Essential Meaning of cost

1 : the price of something : the amount of money that is needed to pay for or buy something The original cost [=price] of the house was 0,000. She attends college at a cost of ,000 a year. See More ExamplesThe average cost of raising a family has increased dramatically. We offer services at a fraction of the cost of other companies. bringing/driving down the cost of computers = lowering/reducing the cost of computers The person at fault in the accident is expected to bear the cost of repairs. [=is expected to pay for the repairs] What's the difference in cost? We were able to update the room for very little cost. [=money, expense] They believe that everyone should have access to adequate medical care, regardless of cost.Hide
2 : an amount of money that must be spent regularly to pay for something (such as running a business or raising a family) The cost of doing business in this area is high. We need better cost control. The company needs to do some cost cutting. [=needs to find ways to save money]
3 : something that is lost, damaged, or given up in order to achieve or get something Winning the war, he believes, was worth the cost in lives. What are the costs and benefits of the new law?

Full 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 How to pronounce cost (audio) \ : to estimate or set the cost of often used with out The project has yet to be costed out.

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Other Words from cost

Noun

costless \ ˈkȯst-​ləs How to pronounce cost (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But barriers to cellular adoption, such as complexity, cost and integration still loom large. Rajeev Shah, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Much has been said and written about the cost and limited availability of insurance in high-risk wildfire zones. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Oct. 2021 Because buyers assume the cost and liabilities of overseas transport, the FOB contract carries a discount. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 Efforts are underway to avert the scenario seen with vaccines and widen access to the treatment, a potential boon to poorer countries because of its low production cost and ease of use. James Paton, Fortune, 12 Oct. 2021 The Daily Mirror reported that the entire journey — which included a stop over to see the Queen — cost at least £12,000 ($16,300) and caused carbon emissions of around 2.5 tons. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 But most analysts agree those approaches are unlikely to cover the full distance between the original $3.5 trillion cost and whatever final number the party might agree on. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 12 Oct. 2021 Acting as both an insurer and a provider, Devoted Health uses its software and data to try to make more informed decisions about the cost and the delivery of care. BostonGlobe.com, 9 Oct. 2021 Other factors the company will consider include the cost and availability of parking and the length of commuting times from home. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The calendars cost approximately $20 and can be shipped globally and bought in bulk for extra savings. Monique Jessen, PEOPLE.com, 14 Oct. 2021 The service will cost CAD$9.99 ($8.05) monthly or CAD$49.99 ($40.30) annually. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 14 Oct. 2021 Turnovers and lack of execution in the red zone will probably cost the Tigers another game on Saturday. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 14 Oct. 2021 That cost the retirees approximately $1 million and sent Iris’ founder to federal prison. Khanna stepped down as Cura’s CEO in 2018 after women in the marijuana community highlighted past rape accusations against him. oregonlive, 14 Oct. 2021 The process can cost anywhere from $100 to around $1,000 depending on the size of the building. J.j. Mccorvey, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 Tickets for the LiveNation show, originally scheduled for iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, cost $44.50 and $64.50 (pit) at Ticketmaster.com. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Tickets are required and cost $35 for members, $40 for nonmembers. Rory Appleton, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Oct. 2021 Tickets, which go on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 18, will cost either $25, $32 or $38 per standard vehicle, depending on the date guests purchase their ticket for. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Oct. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for cost

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cost

cossyrite

cost

costa

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cost.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cost. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cost

cost

verb
\ ˈkȯst How to pronounce cost (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on cost

Nglish: Translation of cost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cost for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cost

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