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.

Full Definition of Variable Cost

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Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Variable Cost. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 16, 2019
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Variable Cost. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: July 16, 2019).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Variable Cost. Retrieved July 16, 2019, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Variable Cost are sourced/syndicated from:

  • Oxford Dictionary Of Economics
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

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