At All Costs or At Any Cost – Idiom & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

If you want to make your conversations and writings more engaging and relatable, try using more idioms and expressions, like at all costs, for example. But wait! Before you start using it, you need to know what it means and how it’s meant to be used. Don’t worry, I break down everything you need to know right here.

At All Costs Meaning Explained

At All Costs or At Any Cost Idiom Meaning

We use the phrase at all costs to emphasize that a specific action absolutely needs to be done or a particular outcome must be achieved, no matter how much effort, sacrifice or risk it involves.

It’s like a parent’s need to protect their kids; it’s at all costs, whatever it takes. Or you could apply it to the idea of running a business. Let’s say you need to meet a certain sales number in order to stay afloat. Well, you’d need to get those sales at all costs.

At All Costs or At Any Cost?

Actually, both at all costs and at any cost share the same meaning and are often used in place of one another. Both idioms emphasize the urgent necessity of accomplishing something, regardless of the difficulty or sacrifice that comes with it.

Is It At All Cost or At All Costs?

At All Costs vs At All Cost Ngram
At all costs and at all cost usage trend.

At all costs is the more correct form of the phrase and is most common in both spoken and written English. The letter S in costs should not be omitted.

Origin and Etymology of At All Costs

The idiomatic expression at all costs first came from legal terminology and referred to bearing all types of expenses related to a case. Over time, it’s simply evolved to convey determination and the readiness to undergo any difficulty to achieve a goal.

Synonyms for At All Costs

Sometimes you just need to see other ways to say something in order to understand it. Also, synonyms help liven up your language and writing so it’s not repetitive.

  • By any means necessary
  • Come hell or high water
  • No matter what
  • Whatever it takes
  • Regardless of the consequences
  • Do or die
  • At any price

At All Costs Examples in a Sentence

At All Costs or At Any Cost Idiom Meaning 1
  • At this point, we need to protect the environment at all costs, regardless of what big businesses say.
  • My daughter may be shy, but she was determined to win the dance competition at all costs.
  • We have to finish this science project at all costs before the deadline, or we’ll flunk the class and have to do it again next year.
  • Darren wants to achieve success in life at all costs.
  • I admire that they’re willing to preserve their cultural heritage at all costs.
  • My brother became a soldier and was prepared to defend his country at all costs.

Good Grammar at All Costs

Understanding the meaning and correct usage of at all costs can help enrich your vocabulary and enhance your communication skills. Whether you use it in everyday conversation, writing or even professional discourse, the phrase at all costs can effectively convey your determination and commitment.

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