What price (something)?

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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 something?

What is the value of something?; What good is something? (Said when the value of the thing referred to is being diminished or ignored.) Jane's best friend told us all about Jane's personal problems. What price friendship? Jack simply declared himself president of the political society. What price democracy?
See also: 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

what price...?

(British English, spoken)
1 used to say that you think that something you have achieved may not be worth all the problems and difficulties it causes: What price fame and fortune?
2 used to say that something seems unlikely: What price England winning the World Cup?
See also: what
References in periodicals archive ?
What price fame and fortune if we let these momentary 'fireflies' glitter-unseen and unappreciated.
What price fame? That's the big question that Joe Bonaparte (a sensational Seth Numrich) does battle with in Odets' Depression-era morality play about the sensitive son of an Italian immigrant who buys into the American Dream by denying his musical gifts and making a run for fame and fortune as a boxer.
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?
MANY people keep asking myself and members of my family, why I haven't written to Viewpoints recently (what price fame?).
Jordan: What Price Fame? TV3 - Wednesday, 8pm YERRAH, I remember the days when documentaries were about old men with no teeth building canoes in the Aran Islands, shot entirely in black and white; or what a great fellow DeValera was, or something else educational.
WHAT price fame? Sanjeev Kohli, best known as Navid in Still Game, is currently filming a new sitcom for BBC3, Foo Action, in which he plays a celebrity-obsessed news anchorman.
Cowen, 41, has explored related territory in two highly acclaimed books, In Praise of Commercial Culture (1998) and What Price Fame? (2000).
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. "Contrary to the predictions of the superstar models, the performances of the very best usually stimulate interest in the lesser player," Cowen states.
This article is adapted from his new book, What Price Fame? (Harvard University Press).