cost Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “cost” - English Dictionary

Definition of "cost" - American English Dictionary

See all translations

costnoun

 us   /kɔst, kɑst/

cost noun (MONEY)

[C/U] the ​amount of ​moneyneeded to ​buy, do, or make something, or an ​amountspent for something: [C] Education costs ​continue to ​rise. [U] Most ​computers come with ​softwareincluded at no ​extra cost. [U] The ​area has both high-cost and low-cost ​housing. [C/U] law Costs is the ​money given to a ​person who ​wins a ​legalcase to ​pay for the cost of taking the ​matter to a ​lawcourt.

cost noun (SOMETHING GIVEN OR LOST)

[U] that which is given, ​needed, or ​lost in ​order to ​obtain something: The ​fire cost 14 ​peopletheirlives.

costverb [T]

 us   /kɔst/ (past tense and past participle cost)

cost verb [T] (PAY MONEY)

to need you to ​pay a ​particularamount of ​money in ​order for you to ​buy or do something: The ​trip will cost (you) $1000. It costs a lot to ​buy a ​house these ​days.

cost verb [T] (GIVE OR LOSE SOMETHING)

to be ​forced to give or ​lose something in ​order to ​obtain something: If you give him a ​chance to ​hit the ​ball, it could cost you the ​ballgame.
(Definition of cost from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "cost" - British English Dictionary

See all translations

costnoun

uk   /kɒst/  us   /kɑːst/

cost noun (MONEY SPENT)

A2 [U] the ​amount of ​moneyneeded to ​buy, do, or make something: When you ​buy a new ​computer, you usually get ​softwareincluded at no ​extra cost (= for no ​additionalmoney). In most ​families, two ​salaries are ​essential to cover the cost of (= ​pay for)raising a ​family. The ​supermarketchainannounced that it was cutting the cost (= ​reducing the ​price) of all ​itsfresh and ​frozenmeat. It's ​difficult for most ​people to ​deal with the rising cost of (= ​increasingprice of)healthcare. I was ​able to ​buy the ​damagedgoods at cost (= for only the ​amount of ​moneyneeded to ​produce or get the ​goods, without any ​extramoneyadded for ​profit).costs [plural] the ​amount of ​moneyneeded for a ​business or to do a ​particularjob: We need to cutouradvertising costs. The estimated costs of the ​buildingproject are well over £1 million.
More examples

cost noun (SOMETHING LOST/GIVEN)

B2 [S or U] something that is given, ​needed, or ​lost in ​order to get a ​particular thing: We were going to ​paint the ​house ourselves, but when we ​considered the cost intime and ​effort, we ​decided to get a ​painter to do it for us. The ​drivermanaged not to ​hit the ​child who ​ran in ​front of his ​car, but only at the cost ofinjuring himself. She has ​finally got the ​job she ​wanted, but atgreatpersonal cost (= she has had to give up other things that were ​important to her).UK It's not ​worth getting into an ​argument with Paula, as I ​learned to my cost (= from my ​unpleasantexperience of having done so).
More examples

costverb [T]

uk   /kɒst/  us   /kɑːst/

cost verb [T] (MONEY)

A2 (cost, cost) If something costs an ​amount of ​money, you must ​pay that ​amount to ​buy or do it: "How much does this ​book cost?" "It costs £25." It costs a lot tobuy a ​house in this ​part of Sydney. [+ two objects] The ​trip will cost you $1,000. (costed, costed) to ​calculate the ​future cost of something: My ​bossasked me to cost the ​materials for the new ​fence and ​gate. Has ​yourplan been ​properly costed (out)?
More examples

cost verb [T] (DESTROY)

B2 (cost, cost) to ​cause someone to ​lose or ​destroy something ​valuable: Drinking and ​driving costs ​lives (= can ​causeaccidents in which ​peopledie). [+ two objects] His ​affairs cost him his ​marriage (= his ​marriageended because of them).
More examples
(Definition of cost from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "cost" - Business English Dictionary

See all translations

costnoun

uk   us   /kɒst/
[C or U] money that has to be ​spent in ​order to ​buy, do, or make something: Some ​people are reluctant to ​seek the ​help of a ​financialadviser because of the cost.the cost of (doing) sth What's the cost of an ​internationalcall?cut/lower/reduce the cost If ​statesshared the ​risk of catastrophic ​events, this would ​lower the cost for policyholders.increase/raise/push up the cost New ​standards will ​increase the cost of making and ​selling diesel ​vehicles.the cost increases/rises/goes up Raw ​material costs have ​risen faster than expected.the cost goes down/drops/falls The cost of ​farmsubsidies is expected to ​fall thanks to large ​exports and ​healthyprices.an increase/rise in the cost of sth an ​increase in the cost of ​goods and ​servicestravel/childcare/healthcare costs All ​travel costs will be ​reimbursed by your ​employer.legal/medical/insurance costs Republicancandidatesofferedtaxcredits to ​lowerhealthinsurance costs.high/rising/spiralling cost(s) Spiralling ​fuel costs have ​hit motorists hard.additional/average/extra cost The ​average cost of ​insuring a family ​car in 2011 was £360.estimated/projected cost Total ​projected cost is $2.5 ​billion.cover/pay/meet the cost A ​one-offdisposalfeecovers the cost of ​collection and ​recyclingat a cost of $4 billion/£150,000, etc. plans to ​build ten new ​powerstations at a cost of £2 ​billion eachthe cost to sb "What will the cost to ​taxpayers be?" is the ​question on everyone's lips. Strategic ​alliances can ​providegrowth at a ​fraction of the cost of going it alone. Apartments in Brooklyn often ​sell at half the cost ofapartments in Manhattan.
costs [plural] money that a ​company or ​organization has to ​spendregularly: Company ​legislationdeals with ​keyissues such as costs, ​advertising, and ​promotionalspend.the costs of (doing) sth Small ​companiesfind it hard to ​bear the costs of ​promotion and ​distribution.cut/reduce/rein in costs There was a ​drive to ​cut costs by using fewer ​suppliers.high/rising/escalating costs Escalating costs have ​adversely affected ​profits. increase/rise in costs Technological ​advances have sparked most of the ​rise in costs, ​industryanalystsclaimed.reduction in costs A ​reduction in costs should ​helpboost end-of-year ​figures. administrative/​labour/​production costs energy/​fuel costsadditional/actual/extra costs The ​OFT said yesterday that ​creditcardproviders could only ​charge for the ​actual costs of ​processing late ​payments.incur costs Adequate ​compensation should be ​provided for any costs ​incurred.cover/recover/recoup costs Because ​privatefarmers can't ​recoup their costs, they are ​cuttingproduction.costs rise/go up/increase Staff costs have ​risen by 20% in the past two ​years.costs come/go down Alternative ​energysources will become more widely used as costs come down.
[U] ACCOUNTING the ​amount of ​money that is ​spent to ​producegoods or ​services, before any ​profit is ​added for the ​manufacturer or ​producer: Mass-market ​retailers often ​sellitems such as bread and ​milk at cost to ​pull in ​customers. Supermarkets were ​accused of encouraging irresponsible drinking by ​selling beer and cider at below cost.
See also
[C] ACCOUNTING an ​amount of ​money that a ​company has to ​pay and that appears in its ​accounts: The ​amountpaid for the ​lease should be ​entered as a cost in the ​profit and ​lossaccount. The ​depreciation of the ​value of ​equipment is ​treated as a cost.
[S or U] something that is given, needed or ​lost in ​order to get a particular thing: cost to sb/sth We will ​help you ​run your ​business with less cost to the ​environment.at a cost to sth She continued in the ​job, but at a great cost to her ​health.cost in sth They ​felt that continuing with the ​project was not ​worth the cost in ​time and ​effort. considerable/enormous/great cost

costverb [T]

uk   us   /kɒst/
(cost, cost) if something costs a particular ​amount of ​money, you have to ​pay that ​amount in ​order to ​buy or have it: cost $1 million/£500,000, etc. Calls cost 60 ​centsperminute.cost sb $1 million/£500,00, etc. Deregulation ​allowed the ​company to ​fix electricity ​prices, costing ​consumersbillions of ​dollars.cost more/less than Stamp ​duty is up to 3% on ​properties costing more than £250,000.cost about/around/up to luxuryapartments costing up to £900,000 eachbe expected/estimated to cost The ​project, which was originally expected to cost $1 ​billion, is now ​estimated at $1.8 ​billioncost as little/much as Hundreds of ​items, some costing as little as $1, are for ​sale.
if something costs you your ​job, an ​opportunity, etc. it prevents you from ​keeping or having it: The ​airlinefolded, costing 3.000 ​jobs.cost sb sth Problems with our ​suppliers could cost us the ​opportunity to ​grow our ​business.
(costed) ACCOUNTING to ​calculate the ​price of something or to decide how much it will cost: Has the ​project been costed yet?cost sth at The new ​railline was costed at £150 ​billion.
cost (sb) a fortune/a bomb/the earth informal to be very ​expensive: The ​courtcase will cost the ​company a ​fortune.
(Definition of cost from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of cost?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“cost” in Business English

Word of the Day

chestnut

a large tree with leaves divided into five parts and large round nuts that can be eaten

Word of the Day

In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
by Liz Walter,
September 02, 2015
Several readers have asked for information on prepositions, so I will start with a blog post that looks at an area where they are really important: travel. The first thing to remember is that we use to (and not ‘in’) after the verb go: We are going to London. I went to

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More