Define: Variable Cost

UK 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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Variable Cost FAQ's



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Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/variable-cost/ (accessed: January 21, 2020).
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Variable Cost. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved January 21, 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)
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

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