costly

adjective

cost·​ly ˈkȯs(t)-lē How to pronounce costly (audio)
costlier; costliest
1
a
: commanding a high price especially because of intrinsic worth
costly gems
b
2
: made or done at heavy expense or sacrifice
a costly mistake
costliness noun

Examples of costly in a Sentence

We use less costly materials in our products. It was too costly to fix her car after the accident, so she decided to buy a new car instead. They won the game, but their best player was injured, so it was a costly victory. The decision to wait could be a costly mistake.
Recent Examples on the Web Beyond the pedagogic, enacting a system-wide ban on cell phones in NYC schools is costly and impractical, at a time when our schools can’t afford either. Deborah Alexander, New York Daily News, 13 June 2024 Even if they were competently executed, such policies would be very costly. Bloomberg Opinion, Twin Cities, 13 June 2024 Going into debt for fitness But some young exercisers say their commitment to fitness has been costly. Mikala Jamison, Washington Post, 12 June 2024 There's no celebration in a costly fine or, even worse, a devastating fire incident. Kyle Russell, The Arizona Republic, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for costly 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'costly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of costly was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near costly

Cite this Entry

“Costly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/costly. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

costly

adjective
cost·​ly ˈkȯs(t)-lē How to pronounce costly (audio)
costlier; costliest
1
: of great cost or value
costly furs
2
: gained at great expense or sacrifice
a costly victory
costliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on costly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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