Cost vs. Costed - What's the difference?


In production, research, retail, and accounting, a cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something or deliver a service, 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.

Cost vs. Costed


Table of contents

1. Pronunciation
          2.1. Verb
                    2.1.1. Usage notes
                    2.1.2. Derived terms
          3.1. Noun
          4.1. Noun
                    4.1.1. Derived terms
                    4.1.2. Related terms
          5.1. Noun



1. Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɒst/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɔst/
  • (cotcaught merger, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈkɑst/
  • Rhymes: -ɒst

2. Etymology 1

From Middle English costen, from Old French coster, couster (to cost), from Medieval Latin costare, from Latin constare (stand together, stand at, cost), from com- + stare (stand).

2.1. Verb

cost (third-person singular simple present costs, present participle costing, simple past and past participle cost or costed)

  1. To incur a charge; to require payment of a price.
    • Thus the red damask curtains which now shut out the fog-laden, drizzling atmosphere of the Marylebone Road, had cost a mere song, and yet they might have been warranted to last another thirty years. A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; [].
  2. To cause something to be lost; to cause the expenditure or relinquishment of.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      though it cost me ten nights' watchings
  3. To require to be borne or suffered; to cause.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      to do him wanton rites, which cost them woe
    • 1977, Star Wars
      LUKE: "That little droid is going to cost me a lot of trouble."
  4. To calculate or estimate a price.

2.1.1. Usage notes

The past tense and past participle is cost in the sense of "this computer cost me £600", but costed in the sense of 'calculated', "the project was costed at $1 million."

2.1.2. Derived terms

  • cost an arm and a leg
  • cost a pretty penny
  • cost the earth
  • how much does it cost

3. Etymology 2

From Middle English cost, coust, from costen (to cost), see below.

3.1. Noun

cost (plural costs)

  1. Amount of money, time, etc. that is required or used.
  2. A negative consequence or loss that occurs or is required to occur.

4. Etymology 3

From Middle English cost, from Old English cost (option, choice, possibility, manner, way, condition), from Old Norse kostr (choice, opportunity, chance, condition, state, quality), from Proto-Germanic *kustuz (choice, trial) (or Proto-Germanic *kustiz (choice, trial)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵéwstus (to enjoy, taste).

Cognate with Icelandic kostur, German dialectal Kust (taste, flavour), Dutch kust (choice, choosing), North Frisian kest (choice, estimation, virtue), West Frisian kêst (article of law, statute), Old English cyst (free-will, choice, election, the best of anything, the choicest, picked host, moral excellence, virtue, goodness, generosity, munificence), Latin gustus (taste). Related to choose.

4.1. Noun

cost (plural costs)

  1. (obsolete) Manner; way; means; available course; contrivance.
    • Pecock
      This word "graved image" betokenneth, needs cost,.. a feigned graved image.
  2. Quality; condition; property; value; worth; a wont or habit; disposition; nature; kind; characteristic.

4.1.1. Derived terms

  • at all costs
  • needs-cost
  • costen
  • costning

5. Etymology 4

From Old French coste from Latin costa.

5.1. Noun

cost (plural costs)

  1. (obsolete) A rib; a side.
    • Ben Jonson
      betwixt the costs of a ship
  2. (heraldry) A cottise.

6. Anagrams

  • C.O.T.S., COTS, CSTO, CTOs, OSTC, Scot, Scot., TOCs, cots, scot


1. Verb


  1. simple past tense and past participle of cost
    We costed the project at $1,000,000. (simple past tense)
    We've costed the project at £1,000,000. (past participle)

1.1. Usage notes

  • The only non-proscribed use is in the sense of "to give a cost to". Where Standard English is expected, use cost instead for non-specialized past-tense and past-participle uses such as answering the question "How much did it cost?"
  • Occasionally replaced with noun or verb forms of price, where commonly accepted, as in, "The event's hosting was priced at $1,000,000."

2. Adjective

costed (not comparable)

  1. Having a specified (type of) cost
    This was a badly costed project.

3. Further reading

  • costed at OneLook Dictionary Search

4. Anagrams

  • scoted
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