Define: Variable Cost

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Variable Cost


Quick Summary of Variable Cost


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



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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Full Definition of Variable Cost


A cost that changes as sales or production change. If a business is producing nothing and selling nothing, the variable cost should be zero. However, there will probably be fixed costs.


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https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 06, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/ (accessed: April 06, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved April 06, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Variable Cost 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