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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, dearly

king's ransom

A very large sum of money. I've always wanted to vacation in Hawaii, but the plane tickets cost a king's ransom.
See also: ransom

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 ?
Buyers were 24% less likely to accept a given demand, and sellers were 38% less likely to accept a given offer under costless delay.
Hypothesis 5: Players will attempt to use signaling strategically when signals are costless and non-binding.
It has been shown that when conviction of criminals is costless, if criminals have state-dependent preferences and are more sensitive to changes in the certainty than the severity of punishment, it is not optimal to punish them with probability one.
Reaves concluded with, "Hedging provides insurance against lost revenue, and the costless collar provides a unique form of insurance that doesn't require an up-front premium payment.
2007 Hedging Positions - The company has hedged approximately 40% of its estimated natural gas production for 2007, using costless collars with an $8.
Ray Reaves, President and CEO for FieldPoint stated, "As most of you know, during the second half of last year the board of directors decided that it would be wise to protect cash flow by hedging, and we put in place a costless collar with an $85 floor and $102.
For the Summer 2007, GeoMet has secured costless collars covering a total of 856,000 MMBtus of gas with a floor price of $7.
Consequently, the board of directors decided in June that it would be wise to protect cash flow for the second half by hedging, and we put in place a costless collar with an $85 floor and $102.
The additional gas hedge contracts were completed in the form of costless collars, and ranged between a floor price of $7.
The unrealized gain was generated by the costless collar hedging agreement the Company entered into in the third quarter of 2009, hedging approximately two-thirds of the volumes of crude oil produced by the Company.
The additional oil hedge contracts were completed in the form of costless collars, and ranged between a floor price of $60.
NYSE Amex: TGC) announced that on July 28, 2009 the Company entered into a two-year price hedging agreement effective August 1, 2009 in the form of a costless collar applicable to a portion of the Company's crude oil production volumes.
In addition, concurrent with the execution of the purchase and sale agreement, Vanguard entered into a costless collar for certain volumes in 2010 and a series of costless collars for a substantial portion of the expected gas production for 2011 at a total cost to the Company of $3.
Calendar Year 2007 - A costless collar for 37,000 mmbtu per month, with a floor price of $8.
53 NYMEX Costless Collar 246,000 2,000 5/08-10/08 $6.