what price

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What price (something)?

A question indicating one's doubt that an achievement is or was worth the cost in terms of the problems it has led to or the sacrifices that it required. Most commonly seen in the phrase "What price fame?" When you have to have a security detail just to go to the grocery store, you have to ask: What price fame? What price wealth, when you sell out everything you believe in along the way?
See also: price, what

what price —?

1 used to ask what has become of something or to suggest that something has or would become worthless. 2 used to state that something seems unlikely.
1 1991 New Scientist What price modern medicine with its reliance on the prescription pad, and the slavish devotion to pills?
See also: price, what
References in periodicals archive ?
What price fame and fortune if we let these momentary 'fireflies' glitter-unseen and unappreciated.
No rider with even a scintilla of intelligence will risk exceeding the guidelines in a Beverley claimer, but what price fame everlasting, or the apotheosis of a jockey's career?
Whether or not he finds the answer regarding what price fame carries is of minor importance.
However, the zero-sum fame theory is not shared by Tyler Cowen in What Price Fame.
In What Price Fame, Tyler Cowen does an admirable job of answering questions such as why fame and merit are frequently separated or what principles govern who becomes famous and what the implications are of modern fame for one's creativity, privacy, and morality.