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, 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

and hang the cost

With no regard for the price. We have to get the roof fixed before the next storm, so call the contractor and hang the cost.
See also: and, cost, hang

at all costs

In any way possible, regardless of risk or expense. Please, save my husband at all costs—I can't live without him! I hope my foot heals quickly—I try to avoid going to the doctor at all costs.
See also: all, cost

at any cost

In any way possible, regardless of risk or expense. Please, save my husband at any cost—I can't live without him! I hope my foot heals quickly—I try to avoid going to the doctor at any cost.
See also: any, cost

civility costs nothing

It is easy to be respectful. You don't have to be their best friends, but you could at least say hi to them—civility costs nothing.
See also: cost, nothing

cost a bomb

informal To be very expensive. A fancy car like that costs a bomb, so I definitely can't afford it!
See also: bomb, cost

cost a pretty penny

To be very expensive. The person spending the money can be stated between "cost" and "a." A fancy car like that costs a pretty penny, so I definitely can't afford it! Wow, a house in that gated community must have cost Alex a pretty penny.
See also: cost, penny, pretty

cost an arm and a leg

slang To cost lot of money. College tuitions cost an arm and leg nowadays. I'm sick of paying rent in this town because it costs an arm and a leg!
See also: and, arm, cost, leg

cost (one) dear

To bring one trouble; to result in very negative consequences. The crimes of his youth cost him dear when he started applying for jobs.
See also: cost, dear

cost out

To determine the total cost of something by adding smaller costs together. When we cost out all the steps of our home renovation project, we knew that it was going to exceed the amount we had budgeted.
See also: cost, out

count the cost

To realize the negative impact that something has had; to assess the consequences. I ignored my foot injury because I didn't think it was serious, but I'm definitely counting the cost now that I need surgery.
See also: cost, count

estimate the cost at (something)

To predict that something will cost a certain amount. Unfortunately, I would estimate the cost of these car repairs at $1,000.
See also: cost, estimate

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 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

cost an arm and a leg

If something costs an arm and a leg, it costs a lot of money. It cost us an arm and a leg to get here. But it has been worth every penny and more. Note: Verbs such as pay, charge and spend are sometimes used instead of cost. Many restaurants were charging an arm and a leg for poor quality food.
See also: and, arm, cost, leg

count the cost

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If you count the cost of something damaging or harmful, you consider the extent of the damage or harm that has been done. Meanwhile, the government has been counting the cost of this disastrous campaign. The central government is today counting the political cost of the dispute which has already prompted the resignation of one minister.
See also: cost, count

at all costs

Regardless of the expense or effort involved; by any means.
See also: all, cost