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Related to cost: cost accounting, cost analysis, fixed cost
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cost the earth

To be exorbitant or burdensome in expense. A: "Your new car looks pretty slick!" B: "I should hope so, it cost the earth! All these new taxes and service charges are going to cost the earth.
See also: cost, earth

cost (someone) dearly

To cause dire, harmful, or problematic consequences for someone, especially regarding a foolish action or a mistake. Drinking all night before his final exams is going to cost him dearly. That late penalty could cost them dearly, as it now puts their opponents within range to tie the game.
See also: cost

at all costs

 and at any cost
Fig. regardless of the difficulty or cost; no matter what. I intend to have that car at all costs. Mary was going to get that job at any cost.
See also: all, cost

Civility costs nothing.

 and Courtesy costs nothing.
Prov. It never hurts you to be polite. Always greet people politely, no matter what you think of them. Civility costs nothing. Why not write Mildred a thank-you note? Courtesy costs nothing.
See also: cost, nothing

cost a pretty penny

 and cost an arm and a leg; cost the earth
Fig. to be expensive; to cost a lot of money. Mary's dress is real silk. It must have cost a pretty penny. Taking care of a fancy car like that can cost a pretty penny, let me tell you. It cost an arm and a leg, so I didn't buy it. A house that size with an ocean view must cost the earth!
See also: cost, penny, pretty

cost something out

to figure out the total cost of some set of costs or a complex purchase of goods or services. Give me a minute to cost this out, and I will have an estimate for you. Do you have time to cost out these specifications this week?
See also: cost, out

estimate the cost at

(some amount) to approximate the cost of something at a particular amount. I estimate the cost at about one hundred dollars. The cost of repairing the car was estimated at over four thousand dollars!
See also: cost, estimate

*king's ransom

Fig. a great deal of money. (To pay an amount as large as one might have to pay to get back a king held for ransom. *Typically: cost ~; pay ~; spend~.) I would like to buy a nice watch, but I don't want to pay a king's ransom for it. It's a lovely house. I bet it cost a king's ransom.
See also: ransom

at any cost

no matter how difficult at any price Even if I'm sure I am right, I will avoid an argument with most people at any cost.
Related vocabulary: at all costs
See also: any, cost

at all costs

no matter what dangers or difficulties are involved The country must defend its borders at all costs.
Related vocabulary: at any cost
See also: all, cost

cost a bomb

to be very expensive Strawberries cost a bomb at this time of year.
See also: bomb, cost

cost (somebody) an arm and a leg

to be very expensive These opera tickets cost us an arm and a leg!
See also: and, arm, cost, leg

cost (somebody) a pretty penny

to be very expensive That diamond ring must have cost him a pretty penny.
See also: cost, penny, pretty

cost somebody dear

if something that someone does, especially something stupid, costs them dear, it causes them a lot of problems Later that year he attacked a photographer, an incident that cost him dear.
See count the cost, and hang the cost
See also: cost, dear

at all costs

if something must be done or avoided at all costs, it must be done or avoided whatever happens The only other option is working on Saturdays which is something I want to avoid at all costs. He appears to have decided that he must stay in power at all costs.
See also: all, cost

count the cost

to start to understand how badly something has affected you I didn't read the contract fully before I signed it but I'm counting the cost now.
See also: cost, count

and hang the cost/expense

if you say that you will do or have something and hang the cost, you mean that you will spend whatever is necessary I thought for once in our lives let's treat ourselves really well and hang the cost.
See also: and, cost, hang

at all costs

Also, at any cost or price . Regardless of the expense or effort involved, by any means. For example, Ann told the doctor to preserve her mother's sight at all costs, or It seems the company plans to develop the product at any cost, or I'm determined to get vacation time at any price. [Mid-1800s]
See also: all, cost

at any cost

Also, at any price. See at all costs.
See also: any, cost

king's ransom

A huge sum of money, as in That handmade rug must have cost a king's ransom. This metaphoric expression originally referred to the sum required to release a king from captivity. [Late 1400s]
See also: ransom

at all costs

Regardless of the expense or effort involved; by any means.
See also: all, cost
References in periodicals archive ?
Next to procurement of materials and shipping, wire is the largest cost in a paper baling operation, Szany says.
Real Estate Cost Segregation shows how to identify properties that are valid prospects for cost segregation and provides printouts of sample spreadsheets used to determine whether a cost segregation study will be cost-effective.
HCA: The general authority for segregating costs between building and personal property stems from Hospital Corp.
The good news: Since January 2004, FEI has been monitoring the costs incurred by member companies to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and these costs seem to have finally stabilized.
One latent cost of childhood poverty stems from living in a poor community where the schools are underfunded and overcrowded, a widely documented condition (Kozol, 1991; Phillips and Chin, 2004).
Two more core machines were required to produce the cylinder head using PSC, but the cost in services, such as sand supply, resin supplies and amine supply, did not result in much cost, as they were already at the facility.
TAXPAYERS CAN USE COST SEGREGATION on replacement property acquired in section 1031 exchanges.
This article compares the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of existing storage products against the distributed "self-protecting" storage systems that can be created as a result of technology advances.
Costs that were eliminated in addition to traditional variable costs included advertising, promotion and sales, maintenance cost reduction, and environmental costs (because it became an acid free plant).
Cost of Production based on current labor, equipment and disposal cost.
The true cost of teachers' pensions is also seldom reflected in government data on school spending.
Because nothing can be published in either the Federal Register or the Internal Revenue Bulletin without the concurrence of the Assistant Treasury Secretary (Tax Policy), the Commissioner, and the IRS Chief Counsel, no cost can now be capitalized under the significant future benefit standard unless (i) it is specifically identified in the final regulations as a capital expenditure, or (ii) the Assistant Secretary, the Commissioner, and the Chief Counsel all agree that the purported future benefit is in fact significant enough to require capitalization.
For a $500 million health system, experience shows that the seven-year total cost of ownership is likely to be approximately $75 million.
The cost to retain existing customers is far lower than the cost to attract new ones," points out Kimberly Collins, Ph.