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:
“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.”
—Calvin Coolidge (18721933)
“The Fountaine of parents duties is Love....Great reason there is why this affection should be fast fixed towards their children. For great is that paine, cost, and care, which parents must undergoe for their children. But if love be in them, no paine, paines, cost or care will seeme too much.”
—William Gouge (20th century)
“I acknowledge that the balance I have achieved between work and family roles comes at a cost, and every day I must weigh whether I live with that cost happily or guiltily, or whether some other lifestyle entails trade-offs I might accept more readily. It is always my choice: to change what I cannot tolerate, or tolerate what I cannotor will notchange.”
—Melinda M. Marshall (20th century)