cost: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (kôst, kost), [key]
— n., v., cost cost•ed, cost•ing.
  1. the price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish, or maintain anything: the high cost of a good meal.
  2. an outlay or expenditure of money, time, labor, trouble, etc.: What will the cost be to me?
  3. a sacrifice, loss, or penalty: to work at the cost of one's health.
    1. money allowed to a successful party in a lawsuit in compensation for legal expenses incurred, chargeable to the unsuccessful party.
    2. money due to a court or one of its officers for services in a cause.
  4. regardless of the effort involved; by any means necessary: The stolen painting must be recovered at all costs.
  1. to require the payment of (money or something else of value) in an exchange: That camera cost $200.
  2. to result in or entail the loss of: Carelessness costs lives.
  3. to cause to lose or suffer: The accident cost her a broken leg.
  4. to entail (effort or inconvenience): Courtesy costs little.
  5. to cause to pay or sacrifice: That request will cost us two weeks' extra work.
  6. to estimate or determine the cost of (manufactured articles, new processes, etc.).
  1. to estimate or determine costs, as of manufacturing something.
  2. to calculate the cost of (a project, product, etc.) in advance: to cost out a major construction project.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. var. ofbefore a vowel: costate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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