adjective cost·ly \ˈks(t)-lē\

: having a high price : costing a lot

: causing people to lose something or to suffer


Full Definition of COSTLY

a :  commanding a high price especially because of intrinsic worth <costly gems>
b :  rich, splendid
:  made or done at heavy expense or sacrifice <a costly mistake>
cost·li·ness noun

Examples of COSTLY

  1. We use less costly materials in our products.
  2. It was too costly to fix her car after the accident, so she decided to buy a new car instead.
  3. They won the game, but their best player was injured, so it was a costly victory.
  4. The decision to wait could be a costly mistake.

First Known Use of COSTLY

14th century

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer

Rhymes with COSTLY

COSTLIEST Defined for Kids


adjective cost·ly \ˈkst-lē\

Definition of COSTLY for Kids

:  having a high price or value :  expensive
:  causing loss or suffering <a costly mistake>


Next Word in the Dictionary: costmaryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: cost ledgerAll Words Near: costly
July 01, 2015
precarious Hear it
not certain, secure, or steady
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears