In production, research, retail, and accounting, a cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use anymore. In business, the cost may be one of acquisition, in which case the amount of money expended to acquire it is counted as cost. In this case, money is the input that is gone in order to acquire the thing. This acquisition cost may be the sum of the cost of production as incurred by the original producer, and further costs of transaction as incurred by the acquirer over and above the price paid to the producer. Usually, the price also includes a mark-up for profit over the cost of production.
More generalized in the field of economics, cost is a metric that is totaling up as a result of a process or as a differential for the result of a decision. Hence cost is the metric used in the standard modeling paradigm applied to economic processes.
Costs (pl.) are often further described based on their timing or their applicability.
Famous quotes containing the word cost:
“To call a posit a posit is not to patronize it. A posit can be unavoidable except at the cost of other no less artificial expedients. Everything to which we concede existence is a posit from the standpoint of a description of the theory-building process, and simultaneously real from the standpoint of the theory that is being built.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)
“How much would it cost you to stand at the wrong end of a shooting gallery?”
—S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, and Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho Marx, Horsefeathers, Huxley College president to con artist Baravelli (Chico Marx)
“[M]y conception of liberty does not permit an individual citizen or a group of citizens to commit acts of depredation against nature in such a way as to harm their neighbors and especially to harm the future generations of Americans. If many years ago we had had the necessary knowledge, and especially the necessary willingness on the part of the Federal Government, we would have saved a sum, a sum of money which has cost the taxpayers of America two billion dollars.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)