cost

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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

proverb 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 (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 (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

cost a bomb

slang 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 be very expensive. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cost" and "a" to indicate the person spending the money. College tuition costs an arm and leg nowadays. I'm sick of paying rent in this town. It's costing me an arm and a leg!
See also: and, arm, cost, leg

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

cost the earth

To be exorbitantly expensive. A: "Your new car looks pretty slick!" B: "I should hope so, it cost the earth!" The company is making cutting-edge smartphones that don't cost the earth for consumers.
See also: cost, earth

cost up

To determine the total cost of something by calculating all the smaller costs involved. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cost" and "up." When we cost up all the steps of our home renovation project, we knew that it was going to exceed the amount we had budgeted. The boss wants you to cost up the project before he'll sign off on it.
See also: cost, up

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

courtesy costs nothing

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

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

it/that will cost (one)

1. Something will cost a large amount of money, especially compared to a cheaper or simpler option. You can opt to rent a larger van instead of the sedan, but it will cost you. A: "Jane and Joe want to upgrade their tickets to first class." B: "There's still time to do it, but that'll cost them. Are they sure it's worth it?" A: "Will you promise not to tell Mom?" B: "It'll cost you."
2. Something will have a negative impact on one's performance or chance of success. A: "Uh oh, the quarterback just fumbled the ball on his own 20 yard line!" B: "Ouch, that'll cost them big time. They really can't afford to give up any more points this late in the game." You can try to fluff up your résumé a bit when you apply for the job, but it'll cost you if your interviewers find out.
See also: cost, that, will

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

to (one's) cost

To one's detriment; due to one's personal experience with something negative. Unfortunately, he's not as forgiving as we all had thought, as I found out to my cost.
See also: cost
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cost an arm and a leg

be extremely expensive. informal
See also: and, arm, cost, leg

count the cost

calculate the consequences of something, typically a careless or foolish action.
2004 The Mercury (Hobart) Aaron Mauger is on standby as the All Blacks count the cost of Saturday's loss.
See also: cost, count

cost (or charge or pay) the earth

cost (or charge or pay) a large amount of money. British informal
See also: cost, earth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cost/pay an ˌarm and a ˈleg

(informal) cost/pay a lot of money: We want to redecorate the living room, but I’m afraid it’s going to cost us an arm and a leg.
See also: and, arm, cost, leg, pay

at ˈany cost

under any circumstances: He is determined to win at any cost.
See also: any, cost

it will ˈcost you

(spoken) used to say that something will be expensive: There is also a de luxe model available, but it’ll cost you.
See also: cost, will

to your ˈcost

(know, discover, etc. something) because of something unpleasant that has happened to you: Joanne’s not a very reliable person, as I’ve recently discovered to my cost.
See also: cost

at ˈall costs

whatever has to be done, suffered, etc: He is determined to win at all costs.
See also: all, cost

count the ˈcost


1 consider carefully what the risks or disadvantages may be before you do something: The job was attractive financially, but when I counted the cost in terms of separation from my family and friends, I decided not to take it.
2 feel the bad effects of a mistake, an accident, etc: We made a big mistake when we bought that old car, and we’re still counting the cost — it breaks down almost every week!
See also: cost, count

cost/pay/charge the ˈearth

(British English, informal) cost/pay/charge a lot of money: It needn’t cost the earth to refurbish your offices.
See also: charge, cost, earth, pay
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

at all costs

Regardless of the expense or effort involved; by any means.
See also: all, cost
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cost an arm and a leg/a pretty penny, to

Excessively expensive, exorbitant. The first phrase is American in origin and dates from the mid-twentieth century. The source is obvious: giving up an arm and a leg to buy something is clearly too costly. The use of “pretty” to mean considerable in amount was originally British and is now archaic except in a few well-worn phrases like this one, a cliché since the late nineteenth century. It was common throughout the eighteenth century, and crossed the Atlantic as well (“The captain might still make a pretty penny,” Bret Harte, Maruja, 1885). A similar term was a fine penny, now obsolete.
See also: and, arm, cost, leg, pretty
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Darren Millar Conservative Clwyd West Travel costs: pounds 7,578.79 Office costs: pounds 11,894.50 Additional costs: pounds 12,972.09 Staff salaries: pounds 73,008.29 Most notable claim: Spent pounds 1,597 on furniture, including a sofa, bed frame and mattress, chest of drawers, towels and cutlery.
Dada: Essentially, we have made sure that we direct as many resources as possible to the classroom by reducing costs outside the classroom.
Downtime costs affect efficiency as much as any other cost, Wildes points out.
Plan sponsors can develop a program that helps them gain control of specialty drug spending by incorporating the use of specialty pharmacies, which present cost savings through a number of benefits:
67(e)(1) unambiguously exempts only those costs incurred by a trust that could not have been incurred if the property were held by an individual.
Capital projects, other than schools, more than $30,000,000 must be designed and constructed so as to reduce energy cost by a minimum of twenty-five percent.
The accelerated and large accelerated filers indicated that their average total costs of compliance in 2005 were $3.8 million, and that these costs were, on average, 16.3 percent less than their total costs of compliance during 2004.
Additionally, long periods of idleness tend to create larger maintenance costs to ensure the facilities and equipment perform as expected in their limited-use capacity.
As noted above, we propose that previously unmeasured costs of being poor can be classified as latent and sequential (Peck and Segal, 2006).
Mills that are open to new ideas may be able to work with chemical suppliers to find innovative strategies for managing costs. "Most mills are already beginning to consider application costs, rather than chemical additive costs," said Roland Pelzer, PL Paper/head of sales Europe, for Degussa Water Chemicals, Krefeld, Germany.
Cost: See website for costs with and w/out housing.
Compare equipment rates and transportation costs for locally procured equipment vs.
The focus of Public Education as a Business comes after the colon: the real costs of K-12 public schooling.