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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
WHAT PRICE SUCCESS? Emirates, top, and Arsenal's former iconic home of Koscielny was handed an extended break after France reached the Euro 2016 final.
WHAT PRICE SUCCESS? The Emirates, top, and Arsenal's former iconic home of Highbury
What price success, having recently won a three-year battle to have parking restrictions applied on the Vicars estate we find out these people have now decamped to another area causing just the same problems?
What Price Success is a story I had difficulty with from the moment I read its awkward sentence on the back cover.
Beckham's article poses the question, "What price success?" It suggests that one must sacrifice peace of mind for the dollar value of a corporate position.