Meaning of COST in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ kɒst, AM kɔ:st ]

( costs, costing)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: The form 'cost' is used in the present tense, and is also the past tense and participle, except for meaning 4, where the form 'costed' is used.


The cost of something is the amount of money that is needed in order to buy, do, or make it.

The cost of a loaf of bread has increased five-fold...

In 1989 the price of coffee fell so low that in many countries it did not even cover the cost of production...

Badges are also available at a cost of £2.50.

N-COUNT : usu sing , oft N of n


If something costs a particular amount of money, you can buy, do, or make it for that amount.

This course is limited to 12 people and costs £50...

It’s going to cost me over $100,000 to buy new trucks.

VERB : V amount , V n amount


Your costs are the total amount of money that you must spend on running your home or business.

Costs have been cut by 30 to 50 per cent...



When something that you plan to do or make is costed , the amount of money you need is calculated in advance.

Everything that goes into making a programme, staff, rent, lighting, is now costed.

...seventy apartments, shops, offices, a restaurant and hotel, costed at around 10 million pounds.

VERB : usu passive , be V-ed , V-ed

Cost out means the same as cost . days for charity staff on how to draw up contracts and cost out proposals...

It is always worth having a loft conversion costed out.

PHRASAL VERB : V P n (not pron) , have n V-ed P , also V n P


If someone is ordered by a court of law to pay costs , they have to pay a sum of money towards the expenses of a court case they are involved in.

He was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay £550 costs.



If something is sold at cost , it is sold for the same price as it cost the seller to buy it.

...a store that provided cigarettes and candy bars at cost.

= cost price

N-UNCOUNT : prep N


The cost of something is the loss, damage, or injury that is involved in trying to achieve it.

In March Mr Salinas shut down the city’s oil refinery at a cost of $500 million and 5,000 jobs.

...being so afraid of something that you feel you have to avoid it whatever the cost to your lifestyle.

N-SING : oft N of n


If an event or mistake costs you something, you lose that thing as the result of it.

...a six-year-old boy whose life was saved by an operation that cost him his sight...

The increase will hurt small business and cost many thousands of jobs.

VERB : V n n , V n


If you say that something must be avoided at all costs , you are emphasizing that it must not be allowed to happen under any circumstances.

They told Jacques Delors a disastrous world trade war must be avoided at all costs.

PHRASE : PHR after v [ emphasis ]


If you say that something must be done at any cost , you are emphasizing that it must be done, even if this requires a lot of effort or money.

This book is of such importance that it must be published at any cost...

PHRASE : PHR after v [ emphasis ]


If you say that something costs money , you mean that it has to be paid for, and perhaps cannot be afforded.

Well-designed clothes cost money.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you know something to your cost , you know it because of an unpleasant experience that you have had.

Kathryn knows to her cost the effect of having served a jail sentence...

PHRASE : PHR after v


to cost someone dear: see dear

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.