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[kawst-lee, kost-] /ˈkɔst li, ˈkɒst-/
adjective, costlier, costliest.
costing much; expensive; high in price:
a costly emerald bracelet; costly medical care.
resulting in great expense:
The upkeep of such a large house is costly.
resulting in great detriment:
It was a costly mistake because no one ever trusted him again.
of great value; very valuable; sumptuous.
lavish; extravagant.
Origin of costly
First recorded in 1350-1400, costly is from the Middle English word costli. See cost, -ly
Related forms
costliness, noun
overcostliness, noun
overcostly, adjective
uncostly, adjective
1. dear, high-priced. See expensive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for costlier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Costly costumes they would exchange for costumes that were costlier.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • The costlier the offerings, the better would the feast be enjoyed.

    A Tour of the Missions

    Augustus Hopkins Strong
  • Such a criticism applies only to the rarer and costlier desiderata.

    The Book-Collector William Carew Hazlitt
  • Indeed that reserved for Madame was much the costlier of the two.

    Joyce's Investments Fannie E. Newberry
  • Certainly it will be costlier than the greatest war that has ever devastated the world.

  • It was not that his dress, although a uniform, was better or costlier than theirs.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • He begrudged even the costlier fuel that was their hope of safety.

    The Missourian

    Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
  • Had the Scholar been with them, certainly there would have been a nobler and a costlier glass.

British Dictionary definitions for costlier


adjective -lier, -liest
of great price or value; expensive
entailing great loss or sacrifice: a costly victory
splendid; lavish
Derived Forms
costliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for costlier



late 14c., from cost + -ly (1). Earlier formation with the same sense were costful (mid-13c.), costious (mid-14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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