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cost - definition and synonyms


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noun cost pronunciation in American English /kɔst/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] the amount of money that is needed in order to buy, pay for, or do something
    the cost of doing something: The cost of rebuilding the theater will be $13 million.
    at a cost of: We’re organizing a trip to New York, at a cost of $300 per person.
    cost to: This scheme helps homeless people at no cost to the taxpayer.
    cover the cost of something (=be enough to pay for something): We need money to cover the cost of heating.
    cost of: A rise in interest rates will increase the cost of borrowing.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] damage or loss that is caused to something good or worth having
    cost of: the serious environmental costs of the new road network
    cost to: They decided to divorce, whatever the cost to their children.
    at a cost of: The plant closed down at a cost of over 1,000 jobs.
    the social/human costs of something: the social costs of unemployment
  3. 3


    [plural] money that an individual or organization must spend regularly on things like electricity, rent, and travel
    cut/reduce costs: New technology has helped us to cut costs.
    Higher fuel prices will lead to increased costs for car owners.
    1. a.
      all the money that a business must spend to produce something or to provide a service
      At these prices, we are not even covering our costs.
      manufacturing costs
    See also operating costs
  4. 4


    [plural] legal money that someone involved in a court case must give in order to help to pay for the lawyers and the court, usually after they have lost the case
    He was ordered to pay a fine of $500 plus $250 costs.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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a stupid person

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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