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1. An amount paid or required in payment for a purchase; a price.
2. The expenditure of something, such as time or labor, necessary for the attainment of a goal: "Freedom to advocate unpopular causes does not require that such advocacy be without cost" (Milton Friedman).
3. costs Law Charges incurred in bringing litigation, including court fees and charges that may be payable by the losing party, but usually not including attorneys' fees.
v. cost, cost·ing, costs
To require a specified payment, expenditure, effort, or loss: It costs more to live in the city.
1. To have as a price.
2. To cause to lose, suffer, or sacrifice: Participating in the strike cost me my job.
3. past tense and past participle costed To estimate or determine the cost of: The accountants costed out our expenses.
at all costs
Regardless of the expense or effort involved; by any means.

[Middle English, from Old French, from coster, to cost, from Latin cōnstāre, to be fixed, cost; see constant.]

cost′less adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.costless - costing nothing; "complimentary tickets"; "free admission"
unpaid - not paid; "unpaid wages"; "an unpaid bill"
References in periodicals archive ?
Accordingly, we will consider three cases, all of which are of practical importance in some settings: when prospective injurers cannot foresee the precise harm they will cause but only average harm; when they can perfectly and costlessly foresee the precise harm; and when they can do so but only if they incur a cost.
Of course, there would still be court costs to prosecute the fraudulent voters, but the deterrent effect of a higher fine would costlessly reduce the number of potential fraudulent voters and reduce monitoring costs.
Diamond and Dybvig (1983) propose that government insurance can costlessly limit the risk of bank runs by guaranteeing the values of customer deposits.
Financial arbitrage involves developing new and better algorithms that can be deployed almost costlessly, whereas in manufacturing arbitrage typically involves expensive actions like moving plants from one location to another or implementing new production processes.
Similarly, most tax authorities in developed countries can accurately and (almost) costlessly determine the proper interest rate for long-term subordinated loans based on readily available market information.
Sellers could costlessly carry inventories indefinitely.
In a zero transaction cost world, the Coase Theorem shows that we could use any devices with any degree of tailoring to protect use interests, and if such devices were not optimal for those concerned--however many they are--they would transact costlessly toward the efficient result.
In such a world, capital assets just cannot be shifted costlessly from one activity to another, particularly in a modern economy in which many of those resources are embodied in industry-specific, firm-specific, and worker-specific capabilities.
Information asymmetry The simple models of human behaviour that often underpin economic analysis typically assume that not only are individuals rational' in all their decision making but that they 1 can acquire and analyse information costlessly.
Once we are out of the world of apparent abundance, getting out of the bust is not as easy as Keynes makes it seem by just spending more and bringing the factors of production costlessly into the process.
For example, Crocker and Snow (1986) show that when firms can costlessly observe categorical characteristics, categorical pricing bans are not merely inefficient at the interim stage after types have been realized but are also a suboptimal way to provide ex ante insurance.
Unless a tradable and frictionless quota system is costlessly set up to do the secondary allocation, there will be a bottom-up inefficiency that is similar to that imposed by a price ceiling or a price floor.