Define: Variable Cost

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Variable Cost


Quick Summary of Variable Cost




What is the dictionary definition of Variable Cost?

Dictionary Definition


An item of expenditure that, in total, varies directly with the level of activity achieved.

For example: The cost of direct materials will tend to double if output doubles, a characteristic being that it is incurred at a constant per unit produced.

In practice, there are very few examples of true variable costs or true fixed costs; with most costs being semi-variable costs.


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Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 16, 2019 https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/.
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Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/ (accessed: July 16, 2019).
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Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved July 16, 2019, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Variable Cost are sourced/syndicated from:

  • Oxford Dictionary Of Economics
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 5th May 2019.