I'm struggling to find a word (verb) that fits in this context:

Billy bought a book for 7 dollars and he sold it for 5 dollars. It ___ him since he should've sold the book more than 7 dollars to obtain a profit.

I can't think of another better example, but I think it should be enough to tell which verb I should use. I have phrases such as "gives a detriment to", "prejudices" or "will make him lose" but I don't think it will sound natural.

  • 1
    The only word that I can think that fits is 'cost'. Also the sentence is missing a word. It cost him since he should've sold the book for more than 7 dollars to obtain a profit. It cost him 2 dollars to be precise. Jun 8, 2022 at 10:23

2 Answers 2


We can use the verb 'cost' about things that cause us to have to pay money, e.g. to ride a bus to work in my city costs (present tense) cost (past tense) me two UK pounds.

We can also use it to discuss something that causes financial or other loss, for example when we sell something for less money than we paid for it, or if we earn less money than otherwise.

Cost (verb)

1 b to cause (someone) to pay an amount of money

2 a to cause (someone) to lose something

Cost (Britannia Dictionary)


I don't think there is an English verb meaning cause [someone] to suffer financial loss.

But a natural verb for the cited context might be, for example, ...it annoyed him..., which could be metaphorically expressed as ...it stung him. In which context it's worth noting that in...

He got stung by Bitcoin, which has halved in value since he invested his life savings in it

...the highlighted words do actually mean "suffered financial loss". But if that verb is used in OP's exact context, to sting can only mean to annoy / upset, not [cause to] suffer financial loss.

  • "He became legendary for having convictions and acting on them, even when it cost him money, friendships, the intimacy of his family, and the goodwill of white audiences that would've preferred a Black performer bring the funny and leave current events behind." Review of movie about Dick Gregory on Roger Ebert website Jun 8, 2022 at 10:41

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