Legal Definition and Related Resources of Costs

Meaning of Costs

In a judicial proceeding , the term costs means allowances made in favor of one litigant as against another. Includes all those expenses of litigation which one party has to pay to the other and they must be carefully distinguished from fees. The term also refers to statutory fees which officers, witnesses, jurors and others are entitled for their services in an action and which statutes authorize to be taxed and included in the judgment . See Terry v Burger, 216 N.E.2d383, 6 Ohio App.2d53.

Costs Alternative Definition

A pecuniary allowance made by positive law to the successful party to a suit, or to some distinct proceeding in a suit in consideration of, and to reimburse, his probable expense. Abbott. See 4 N. M. 356. At common law, there were no costs by name, but when the plaintiff failed, he was amerced for presenting a false claim, and, when judgment was rendered against defendant, he was fined for resisting the just claim of plaintiff. Costs as allowed by statute in modern practice are the amount allowed the prevailing party in lieu of the common-law fines. The term is to be distinguished from “disbursements,” which includes the amounts paid out by the prevailing party for certain purposes incident to the suit, and allowed to him as part of his recovery. 23 Ore. 451. See “Double Costs.

Related Entries of Costs in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Costs in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Costs in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Costs in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Costs in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Adulteration, , Bill Of Costs, Charges, Clog On Equity Of Redemption, Common Fund, , Equity Of Redemption, Foreclosure, Gloucester, Statute Of, Judgment Debt, Residuary Legacy, Residue, Tender.

Costs Legal Definition

An allowance for expenses in prosecuting or defending a suit. Ordinarily this does not include attorney fees.

Translate Costs from English to Spanish

Translation of Costs, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Costas and other legal terms is available here.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Costs in the Dictionary Costs in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Costs
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Costs in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Costs is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Costs (more about URIs)

Costs in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of costs.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Policeman
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Costs

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Costs :

Sums payable for legal services. A distinction is drawn between contentious and noncontentious costs (broadly, the distinction between costs relating to litigious and nonlitigious matters). Solicitors’ costs are normally divide
d into profit costs (representing the solicitor’s profit and overheads) and disbursements (any out-of-pocket expenses he may have incurred in the conduct of the case).

In civil litigation the court has a wide discretion to make an award in respect of the costs of the case, but the general principle applied is that the loser of the case must pay the costs of the winner (this was previously known as costs follow the event). The court will order on what basis the costs will be assessed. In normal adversary litigation this is the standard basis, in which the loser pays a reasonable sum in respect of all costs reasonably incurred by the winning party (See also indemnity basis). If the court does not make an order for payment of fixed costs (i.e. the amount allowed in respect of solicitors’ charges), or fixed costs are not provided for, the amount of costs payable will be determined by the court or by a *costs officer (See assessment of costs).

See also costs in any event; costs in the case; costs reserved.

Total Costs in the Economic Activity

An introductory concept of Total Costs may be: the sum of all fixed costs and variable costs

Definition of Costs

In relation to social issues, a meaning of costs is provided here: the total money, time and resources associated with a purchase or activity.




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