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cost definition

Overview

This page has 21 definitions of cost with English translations in 6 languages. Cost is a verb, noun and adjective. Examples of how to use cost in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Cost

English cost definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English costen, from Old French coster, couster (to cost), from Medieval Latin cōstō, from Latin cōnstō (stand together).

Verb

cost (third-person singular simple present costs, present participle costing, simple past and past participle cost or costed)

  1. (transitive, ditransitive) To incur a charge of; to require payment of a (specified) price.
    This shirt cost $50, while this was cheaper at only $30.
    It will cost you a lot of money to take a trip around the world.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., [], [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
      Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; [].
  2. (transitive, ditransitive) To cause something to be lost; to cause the expenditure or relinquishment of.
    Trying to rescue the man from the burning building cost them their lives.
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[1]:
      the packaging of home-delivered products now accounts for 30% of the solid rubbish the US generates annually, and the cardboard alone costs 1bn trees.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
      though it cost me ten nights' watchings
  3. To require to be borne or suffered; to cause.
  4. To calculate or estimate a price.
    I'd cost the repair work at a few thousand.
Usage notes

The past tense and past participle is cost in the sense of "this computer cost me £600", but costed in the sense of 'calculated', "the project was costed at $1 million."

Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English cost, coust, from costen (to cost), from the same source as above.

Noun

cost (countable and uncountable, plural costs)

  1. Amount of money, time, etc. that is required or used.
    • 2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
    The total cost of the new complex was an estimated $1.5 million.
    We have to cut costs if we want to avoid bankruptcy.
    The average cost of a new house is twice as much as it was 20 years ago.
  2. A negative consequence or loss that occurs or is required to occur.
    Spending all your time working may earn you a lot of money at the cost of your health.
    The army won the battle decisively, but at a cost of many lives.
Hyponyms
Derived terms
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Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3

From Middle English cost, from Old English cost (option, choice, possibility, manner, way, condition), from Old Norse kostr (choice, opportunity, chance, condition, state, quality), from Proto-Germanic *kustuz (choice, trial) (or Proto-Germanic *kustiz (choice, trial)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵéwstus (to enjoy, taste).

Cognate with Icelandic kostur, German dialectal Kust (taste, flavour), Dutch kust (choice, choosing), North Frisian kest (choice, estimation, virtue), West Frisian kêst (article of law, statute), Old English cyst (free-will, choice, election, the best of anything, the choicest, picked host, moral excellence, virtue, goodness, generosity, munificence), Latin gustus (taste). Related to choose. Doublet of gusto.

Noun

cost (plural costs)

  1. (obsolete) Manner; way; means; available course; contrivance.
  2. Quality; condition; property; value; worth; a wont or habit; disposition; nature; kind; characteristic.
Derived terms
Related terms

Etymology 4

From Middle English [Term?], from Old French coste, from Latin costa. Doublet of coast and cuesta.

Noun

cost (plural costs)

  1. (obsolete) A rib; a side.
  2. (heraldry) A cottise.

Anagrams


Catalan cost definition

Noun

cost m (plural costs or costos)

  1. cost

Derived terms

Related terms


Manx cost definition

Noun

cost m (genitive singular cost, plural costyn)

  1. charge (monetary)

Derived terms


Old English cost definition

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *kust-, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵews- (to choose).

Akin to Old Saxon kostōn (to try, tempt), Old High German kostōn (to taste, test, try by tasting) (German kosten), Icelandic kosta (to try, tempt), Gothic 𐌺𐌿𐍃𐍄𐌿𐍃 (kustus, test), Old English cystan (to spend, get the value of, procure), Old English cyst (proof, test, trial; choice), ċēosan (to choose).

Pronunciation

Noun

cost m

  1. option, choice; possibility
  2. condition, manner, way
    þæs costes þeon the condition that

Declension

Adjective

cost

  1. chosen, choice
  2. tried, proven; excellent

Declension


Old French cost definition

Etymology

From Latin constare, present infinitive of consto (I stand firm (at a price)).

Noun

cost m (oblique plural coz or cotz, nominative singular coz or cotz, nominative plural cost)

  1. cost; financial outlay

Related terms


Romanian cost definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Verb

cost

  1. first-person singular present indicative/subjunctive of costa

Etymology 2

Back-formation from costa

Noun

cost n (uncountable)

  1. cost
Declension

Welsh cost definition

Etymology

Borrowed from English cost.

Noun

cost m or f (plural costau)

  1. cost
  2. expense

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
cost gost nghost chost
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.