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opportunity cost

noun, Economics
the money or other benefits lost when pursuing a particular course of action instead of a mutually-exclusive alternative:
The company cannot afford the opportunity cost attached to policy decisions made by the current CEO.
Origin of opportunity cost
1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for opportunity cost
  • Nor does the game consider the opportunity cost to the offerer.
  • Second, the real cost of consuming oil must include the opportunity cost and risk of not having oil in the future.
  • On the way home, you're mulling the opportunity cost: what you could have done with the five grand.
  • Our economy pays a major opportunity cost of paying these people to do something which adds no value except the avoidance of tax.
  • The opportunity cost of giving up on a potential suitor is lower.
  • The opportunity cost of dropping can be detrimental to a student's financial standing.
  • When interest rates eventually rise, the opportunity cost of holding gold will go up, taking off the shine.
  • What concerns me is the opportunity cost of these investments.
  • But the public good that we're buying through that opportunity cost is a real one.
  • They don't understand the concepts of opportunity cost and trade off.
British Dictionary definitions for opportunity cost

opportunity cost

(economics) the benefit that could have been gained from an alternative use of the same resource
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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