Define: Sunk Costs

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Sunk Costs

Quick Summary of Sunk Costs

Money that has already been spent and cannot be recovered.


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. February 28, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Sunk Costs. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: February 28, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Sunk Costs. Retrieved February 28, 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: 28th December 2018.