costcost1 /kɒst $ kɒːst/ ●●●S1W1 noun1[countable]COST the amount of money that you have to pay in order to buy, do, or produce somethingcost ofthe cost of accommodationI offered to pay the cost of the taxi.Insurance to cover the cost of a funeral is possible.This doesn’t include the cost of repairing the damage.The new building’s going up at a cost of $82 million.low cost housingthe high cost of productionTravel insurance is included at no extra cost.The funds will just cover the museum’s running costs. →cost of livingRegisterIn everyday English, people usually ask how much did it cost? or how much was it? rather than using the noun cost: What was the cost of the accommodation? → How much did the accommodation cost? | I’ll find out the cost. → I’ll find out how much it costs/is.2 →costs3[countable, uncountable]LOSE/NOT HAVE ANYMORE something that you lose, give away, damage etc in order to achieve somethingat (a) cost to somebodyShe had kept her promise to Christine, but at what cost to herself?social/environmental etc costThey need to weigh up the costs and benefits (=disadvantages and advantages) of regulation.He’s determined to win, whatever the cost (=no matter how much work, money, risk etc is needed).We must avoid a scandal at all costs (=whatever happens).4[singular] especially American EnglishBBTCOST the price that someone pays for something that they are going to sell syn cost priceat costHis uncle’s a car dealer and let him buy the car at cost (=without making a profit).5 →know/find out/learn etc something to your cost → count the costat count1(11)COLLOCATIONSverbspay the cost of somethingI’m not sure how I’m going to pay the cost of going to college.cover the cost (=pay for something)The money he had saved just covered the cost of the trip.meet/bear the cost of something (=pay for something, especially with difficulty)His family were unable to meet the cost of his operation.afford the cost of somethingWe can’t afford the cost of a holiday abroad this year.reduce/lower/bring down the costIf you go later in the year, it will bring down the cost of your holiday.cut the cost (=reduce it)The government has promised to cut the cost of medical care.increase/push up the costThe new tax will increase the cost of owning a car.the cost rises/goes upThe cost of electricity has risen again.the cost falls/goes downAirline costs have fallen considerably.adjectiveshigh/lowthe high cost of fuelthe average costWhat’s the average cost of a wedding in the UK?an extra/additional costAt the campsite, many activities are available at no extra cost.the full/total costExperts are still assessing the full cost of the disaster.the estimated cost (=one that is guessed and may not be exact)The estimated cost was in the region of £3,000.the annual/monthly costThis figure represents the annual cost of a loan.labour/production/transport etc costsThey had to pay £30,000 in legal costs.running/operating costs (=the amount it costs to run a business, a machine etc)The new technology is cheaper and the running costs are lower.borrowing costs (=the amount it costs to borrow money from a bank)Interest rates and borrowing costs are likely to be higher next year.phrasesthe cost of living (=the amount you need to pay for food, clothes etc)People are complaining about the rising cost of living.THESAURUScost the amount of money you need to buy or do something. Cost is usually used when talking in a general way about whether something is expensive or cheap rather than when talking about exact pricesThe cost of running a car is increasing.the cost of raw materialsprice the amount of money you must pay for something that is for saleThey sell good-quality clothes at reasonable prices.the price of a plane ticket to New Yorkvalue the amount of money that something is worthA new kitchen can increase the value of your home.charge the amount that you have to pay for a service or to use somethingHotel guests may use the gym for a small charge.bank chargesfee the amount you have to pay to enter a place or join a group, or for the services of a professional person such as a lawyer or a doctorThere is no entrance fee.The membership fee is £125 a year.legal feesfare the amount you have to pay to travel somewhere by bus, plane, train etcI didn’t even have enough money for my bus fare.fare increasesrent the amount you have to pay to live in or use a place that you do not ownThe rent on his apartment is $800 a month.rate a charge that is set according to a standard scaleMost TV stations offer special rates to local advertisers.toll the amount you have to pay to travel on some roads or bridgesYou have to pay tolls on many French motorways.
costcost2 ●●●S1W2 verb1 (past tense and past participle cost) [linking verb]COST to have a particular priceA full day’s activities will cost you £45.His proposals could cost the taxpayer around £8 billion a year.How much would it cost us to replace?not cost somebody a penny (=cost nothing)It won’t cost you a penny for the first six months.cost a (small) fortune/a pretty penny (=have a very high price)It’s costing us a fortune in phone bills.cost a bomb/a packet British English (=have a very high price)What a fantastic dress. It must have cost a bomb!Lighting can change the look of a room and needn’t cost the earth (=have a price which is too high).Getting that insured is going to cost you an arm and a leg (=have a very high price).GRAMMAR: Linking verbsCost is a linking verb that links the subject of the sentence with a noun, often an amount: Tickets cost $15. A second-hand car doesn’t cost much.2 →cost somebody their job/life/marriage etc3 →cost somebody dear/dearly4 (past tense and past participle costed) [transitive]BFCOUNT/CALCULATE to calculate the total price of something or decide how much the price of something should beWe’ll get the plan costed before presenting it to the board. Grammar Cost is often passive in this meaning.5 →it will cost youCOLLOCATIONSphrasescost a lotTheir hair products are really good but they cost a lot.not cost muchSecond hand clothes don’t cost much.cost something per minute/hour/year etcCalls cost only 2p per minute.cost something per personThere’s a one-day course that costs £80 per person.cost something per head (=per person)The meal will cost about £20 per head.not cost (somebody) a penny (=cost nothing)Using the Internet, you can make phone calls that don’t cost a penny.cost a fortune/cost the earth (=have a very high price)If you use a lawyer, it will cost you a fortune.cost a bomb/a packet British English (=have a very high price)He has a new sports car that must have cost a bomb.cost an arm and a leg (=have a price that is much too high)A skiing holiday needn’t cost you an arm and a leg.THESAURUScost to have a particular priceThe book costs $25.A new kitchen will cost you a lot of money.It’s a nice dress and it didn’t cost much.be especially spoken to cost a particular amount of moneyThese shoes were only £5.be priced at something to have a particular price – used when giving the exact price that a shop or company charges for somethingTickets are priced at $20 for adults and $10 for kids.retail at something to be sold in shops at a particular price – used especially in businessThe scissors retail at £1.99 in department stores.sell/go for something used for saying what people usually pay for somethingHouses in this area sell for around £200,000.fetch used for saying what people pay for something, especially at a public saleThe painting fetched over $8,000 at auction.A sports car built for Mussolini is expected to fetch nearly £1 million at auction.set somebody back something informal to cost someone a lot of moneyA good set of speakers will set you back around £150.come to if a bill comes to a particular amount, it adds up to that amountThe bill came to £100 between four of us.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
cost• Tickets for the show cost £15 or £20.• The Department of Education estimates that it will cost $17 billion to build the new schools.• Our staff are trained to administer the policy on page 53, which costs £17 per person for 18 days.• CableTV service costs $19.95 a month.• My first bikecost $ 200.• The options are being costed and analyzed.• The project had been incorrectly costed and the money ran out before it could be completed.• It would be a good idea to get the plan costed before presenting it to the board.• Look at Frank's new Mercedes - it must have cost a fortune.• Instead, they survive on a liquiddiet that costs a staggering $ 10,000 a month.• Larry's years of hard drinking and living almost cost him his life.• How much does a house like that cost in America?• I stayed in a hotel in Paris which cost me $150 a night.• Slopeside lodgingscost more, but often you are spared the expense of renting a car.• Treasurysums said the rebate would be worth £4m, but would cost more to fix.• It is costing our industrialistsdear, and our exporters.• All this delay has cost the company an important contract.• Mr Major has already discovered that repossessions and defaultscost the government money as well as damaging consumer confidence and financialinstitutions.• The field goal he missedcost the team the game.• Another mistake like that could cost you your job.cost the earth• A well planned, well made kitchen that doesn't cost the earth.• But ... but it must cost the earth.• He would miss seeing Harry and, besides, a weekend at some hotel would cost the earth.• In Coventry Sir William Lyons produced wonderfulengineering and style-but he didn't believe his cars should cost the earth.• It's better than getting a locum in - they cost the earth and sometimes do more harm than good.• It would cost the earth, but it had to be safer than Nigel's Aston Martin.• But flooring need not cost the earth; nor is carpeting the only solution.• This is a flexible, well-designed machine which produces quality prints and doesn't cost the earth to print them.From Longman Business Dictionarycostcost1 /kɒstkɒːst/ noun1[countable, uncountable] the amount of money that you have to pay in order to buy, do, or produce somethingThe distributor bears the full cost of promoting a film.Siemens is moving production to low cost sites in Portugal and Mexico.The policy covers all major illnesses and includes children’s cover at no extra cost.The company had to bring in skilled workers from abroad, often at high cost.2costs [plural]ACCOUNTING the money that a business or an individual must regularly spendThe rising costs of land and labour have weakened the ship repair business in Singapore.Delays in construction could increase costs significantly.Kraft is seeking to cut costs by closing plants.Rents will be sufficient to cover costs (=pay for costs) and allow the developer a profit. →accrued cost →bid costs →carrying cost →current cost →depreciated cost →direct cost →discretionary costs →economic cost →factor cost →factory cost →fixed cost →historic cost →holding cost →incremental cost →indirect cost →landed cost →lifecycle cost →marginal cost →one-off cost →operating cost →opportunity cost →overhead cost →replacement cost →running cost →setup cost →standard cost →standby cost →sunk cost →transaction cost →unit cost →variable costcostcost2 verb1 (past tense and past participle cost) [transitive] to have a particular priceThis dress cost $75.cost (somebody) somethingHow much did the work cost you?2cost a (small) fortune/the earth (also cost a bomb/packet British English informal) to have a very high priceThe meal cost a small fortune, but it was well worth it.What a fantastic dress. It must have cost a bomb!3 (past tense and past participle costed) [transitive usually passive]ACCOUNTING to calculate the cost of something or decide how much something should costWe’ll get the plan costed before sending it to the board.→ See Verb table