American English

Definition of cost verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they cost
    he / she / it costs
    past simple costed
    -ing form costing
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  1. 1In sense 4 costed is used for the past tense and past participle. if something costs a particular amount of money, you need to pay that amount in order to buy, make, or do it cost something How much did it cost? I didn't get it because it cost too much. Tickets cost ten dollars each. Calls to landlines cost 5 cents per minute. Don't use too much of it—it cost a lot of money. All these reforms will cost money (= be expensive). Good food need not cost a fortune (= cost a lot of money). cost somebody something The meal cost us about $40. This is costing the taxpayer $10 billion a year. cost something to do something The hospital will cost an estimated $3 million to build. It costs a fortune to fly first class.
  2. 2to cause the loss of something cost somebody something That one mistake almost cost him his life. A late penalty cost our team the game (= meant that they did not win the game). Such behavior could cost you your place on the team. cost something The closure of the factory is likely to cost 1,000 jobs.
  3. 3cost somebody something to involve you in making an effort or doing something unpleasant The accident cost me a visit to the doctor. Financial worries cost her many sleepless nights. She would never know how much it cost him to tell her.
  4. 4[usually passive] to estimate how much money will be needed for something or the price that should be charged for something cost something The project needs to be costed in detail. Their accountants have costed the project at $8.1 million. fully costed proposals cost something out Have you costed out these proposals yet? see also costing
  5. Idioms
    cost/pay an arm and a leg (informal)
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    to cost/pay a lot of money
    cost somebody dear/dearly
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    to make somebody suffer a lot That one mistake has cost him dearly over the years.
    it will cost you (informal)
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    used to say that something will be expensive There is a deluxe model available, but it'll cost you.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cost