Meaning of COST in English

COST

/ kɒst; NAmE kɔːst/ noun , verb

■ noun

1.

[ C , U ] the amount of money that you need in order to buy, make or do sth :

the high / low cost of housing

A new computer system has been installed at a cost of £80 000.

The plan had to be abandoned on grounds of cost.

We did not even make enough money to cover the cost of the food.

Consumers will have to bear the full cost of these pay increases.

The total cost to you (= the amount you have to pay) is £3 000.

➡ note at price

2.

costs [ pl. ] the total amount of money that needs to be spent by a business :

The use of cheap labour helped to keep costs down.

to cut / reduce costs

running / operating / labour costs

We have had to raise our prices because of rising costs.

3.

[ U , sing. ] the effort, loss or damage that is involved in order to do or achieve sth :

the terrible cost of the war in death and suffering

the environmental cost of nuclear power

She saved him from the fire but at the cost of her own life (= she died) .

He worked non-stop for three months, at considerable cost to his health.

I felt a need to please people, whatever the cost in time and energy.

4.

costs ( NAmE also ˈcourt costs ) [ pl. ] the sum of money that sb is ordered to pay for lawyers, etc. in a legal case :

He was ordered to pay £2 000 costs.

IDIOMS

- at all cost / costs

- at any cost

- at cost

- know / learn / find sth to your cost

—more at count

••

SYNONYMS

costs

spending ♦ expenditure ♦ expenses ♦ outlay ♦ outgoings

These are all words for money spent by a government, an organization or a person.

costs

the total amount of money that needs to be spent by a business:

labour / production costs

rising costs

spending

the amount of money that is spent, especially by a government or an organization:

public spending

More spending on health was promised.

expenditure

( rather formal ) an amount of money spent by a government, an organization or a person:

expenditure on education

expenses

money that has to be spent by a person or an organization; money that you spend while you are working which your employer will pay back to you later:

legal expenses

travel expenses

outlay

the money that you have to spend in order to start a new business or project, or in order to save yourself money or time later:

The best equipment is costly but is well worth the outlay.

outgoings

( BrE ) the regular costs that a person or business has, such as rent and electricity

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

spending / expenditure / outlay on sth

high / low / total / overall costs / spending / expenditure / expenses / outlay / outgoings

capital costs / spending / expenditure / expenses / outlay

government / public / education / health costs / spending / expenditure

household costs / spending / expenditure / expenses / outgoings

to increase / reduce costs / spending / expenditure / expenses / the outlay / outgoings verb

■ verb ( cost , cost )

HELP NOTE : In sense 4 costed is used for the past tense and past participle.

1.

if sth costs a particular amount of money, you need to pay that amount in order to buy, make or do it :

[ vn ]

How much did it cost?

I didn't get it because it cost too much.

Tickets cost ten dollars each.

Calls to the helpline cost 38p per minute.

Don't use too much of it—it cost a lot of money .

All these reforms will cost money (= be expensive) .

Good food need not cost a fortune (= cost a lot of money) .

[ vnn ]

The meal cost us about £40.

This is costing the taxpayer £10 billion a year.

[ vn to inf ]

The hospital will cost an estimated £2 million to build.

It costs a fortune to fly first class.

2.

to cause the loss of sth :

[ vnn ]

That one mistake almost cost him his life.

A late penalty cost United the game (= meant that they did not win the game) .

[ vn ]

The closure of the factory is likely to cost 1 000 jobs.

3.

[ vnn ] to involve you in making an effort or doing sth unpleasant :

The accident cost me a visit to the doctor.

Financial worries cost her many sleepless nights.

4.

( costed , costed ) [ vn ] [ usually passive ] cost sth (out) to estimate how much money will be needed for sth or the price that should be charged for sth :

The project needs to be costed in detail.

Their accountants have costed the project at $8.1 million.

Have you costed out these proposals yet?

—see also costing

IDIOMS

- cost sb dear

- it will cost you

—more at arm noun

••

SYNONYMS

cost

be ♦ sell ♦ retail ♦ set sb back sth

These are all words that can be used when sth costs a particular amount of money and you need to pay that amount in order to buy, make or do it.

cost

if sth costs a particular amount of money, you need to pay that amount in order to buy, make or do it:

How much did it cost?

All these reforms will cost money

(= be expensive). •

This is costing the taxpayer £10 billion a year.

be

to cost:

'How much is that dress?' 'Eighty dollars.'

sell

to be sold at a particular price:

The painting sold for £10 000 at auction.

retail

( business ) to be sold in a shop / store at a particular price:

The book retails at £14.95.

sell or retail?

Sell is a more general word than retail which is used mostly in Business English, and only for goods that are sold to the public through shops / stores.

set sb back sth

( informal ) to cost sb a particular amount of money:

The repairs set him back over £200.

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

How much does this cost / is this?

That costs / will set you back a lot of money .

The product sells / retails for / at £9.95.

••

WORD ORIGIN

Middle English : from Old French coust (noun), couster (verb), based on Latin constare stand firm, stand at a price.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.