Sunk Costs

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Sunk Costs

Quick Summary of Sunk Costs

Money that has already been spent and cannot be recovered.

What is the dictionary definition of Sunk Costs?

Dictionary Definition

Money already spent and gone, which will not be recovered no matter what course of action is taken. Bad decisions are made when managers attempt to recoup sunk costs.

Examples of Sunk Costs in a sentence

The cost of their time is a sunk cost.
Economists refer to this as a sunk cost.
The original cost is historical and can therefore be considered to be an irrelevant sunk cost.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Sunk Costs. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 13, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Sunk Costs. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: July 13, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Sunk Costs. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Sunk Costs are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 25th March, 2020 | 1 Views.