Meaning of COST in English


I. ˈkȯst also ˈkäst noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from coster, v.


a. : the amount or equivalent paid or given or charged or engaged to be paid or given for anything bought or taken in barter or for service rendered : charge , price

b. : whatever must be given, sacrificed, suffered, or forgone to secure a benefit or accomplish a result

to retain life at the cost of honor

2. : loss, deprivation, or suffering as the necessary price of something gained or as the unavoidable result or penalty of an action

knowledge is gained at the cost of innocence

he found him, to his cost , a dangerous enemy

3. : the expenditure or outlay of money, time, or labor

to spare no cost in furnishing a house

to live cost -free

4. costs plural : expenses incurred in litigation: as

a. : those payable to the attorney or counsel by his client especially when fixed by law

b. : those given by the law or the court to the prevailing against the losing party in equity and frequently by statute — called also bill of costs

5. : an item of outlay incurred in the operation of a business enterprise (as for the purchase of raw materials, labor, services, supplies) including depreciation and amortization of capital assets — see actual cost , conversion cost , direct cost , distribution cost , historical cost , indirect cost , predetermined cost , prime cost , production cost , standard cost

6. : something that is sacrificed to obtain something else — see alternative cost , real cost

II. verb

( cost ; cost ; costing ; costs )

Etymology: Middle English costen, from Middle French coster, from Latin constare to stand with or at, cost, agree — more at constant

intransitive verb

1. : to require expenditure or payment

2. : to require effort, suffering, or loss

transitive verb


a. : to have a price of

the book costs five dollars

b. : to cause or require the expenditure or loss of

riots between natives and foreigners cost some lives — Encyc. Americana

to prepare oneself for this costs some trouble — I.A.Richards

2. : to cause to pay, suffer, or lose something

it will cost you about $10 each way — Richard Joseph

long wait had cost him his dinner — T.B.Costain

rear guard action that cost the British dearly — F.V.W.Mason

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: probably from cost (I)

transitive verb

: to estimate or figure on the cost of

some colleges try to cost menus before they use them — College and University Business

intransitive verb

: to estimate or figure on costs

standardize costing in an industry

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French coste, literally, rib — more at coast

: ribbon 2a

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.