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"Cost-effective" is a generic term that can be used to describe anything that is "productive relative to the cost" whereby cost is a very vague term which can refer to either time, money, or human resources, etc.

"Time-effective" will be a specific case of "cost-effective", in the context of "time".

What may be a word to mean "cost-effective" in the context of "money"?

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What is the basis of your presumptions? Can you elaborate with an example sentence the expression that you are looking for? –  Kris May 7 '13 at 5:45

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I consider that a nice option could be Economical, for me the meaning is exactly the same and in other languages like Spanish is more common to say Economical than Cost-effective

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"Cost" is a word with a very strong association with monetary outlay. When the word "cost" is used, the listener/reader takes it as referring to money, unless the other resource being spent is specified. If we wanted to use "cost-effective" to say that something was very efficient in its use of time, we would say "cost-effective in terms of time." Any "currency" can be substituted for "time" in this sentence, including "money," if you want to be emphatic. (For some resources, the noun can be turned into an adjective, and the phrase becomes "cost-effective in [blank] terms" if you wish. One example is "cost-effective in monetary terms.")

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Yes - the single definitions ( thefreedictionary.com/cost-effective ) at the AHD and Collins mention money / finance and that at Webster's mentions expenditure (which strongly connotes money). This, not ' "Cost-effective" is a generic term that can be used to describe anything that is "productive relative to the cost" whereby cost is a very vague term which can refer to either time, money, or human resources, etc.' indicates what the primary sense is. Context will / should confirm this usage or indicate another intended slant. –  Edwin Ashworth May 7 '13 at 6:42

One word which mean "cost-effective' in the monetary context? I would say "profitable" fits the bill. Essentially cost-effective means that the return on investment is greater than the investment itself. Thus, the investment aka cost is effective in producing a profit. So "cost-effective" is just another way of saying "profitable". Or the other way round, if you prefer it that way.

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Cheap is the correct word, I believe. However, be mindful of negative cognition associated with the word.

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