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90s Slang You Should Know


[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 costliness
Historical Examples
  • Many instances are recorded of the costliness of the attire of these Roman ladies.

    Roman Women Alfred Brittain
  • That other argument as to the costliness of old men to the state was for the present dropped.

    The Fixed Period Anthony Trollope
  • They bought time at a high price, but they did not stint themselves nor stop their bidding because of its costliness.

  • It reminds us of the costliness of much of our self-indulgence.

    George Muller of Bristol Arthur T. Pierson
  • In architecture and construction, in design and costliness, it is known as one of the most remarkable buildings in history.

    The House of the Lord James E. Talmage
  • Here every object was estimated, not for its beauty or elegance, but by its costliness.

  • Every window was a miracle of taste, refinement, and costliness.

    The Lion's Share E. Arnold Bennett
  • Indeed, the beauty of such ornaments as these seldom has any relation to the costliness of them.

    Rollo in Geneva Jacob Abbott
  • May noticed how rapidly the elegance and costliness of the furniture and appointments decreased as they mounted.

    That Unfortunate Marriage, Vol. 1(of 3) Frances Eleanor Trollope
  • The fit of the dress did not strike Paul so much as the costliness of the material.

    The Shadow of the Czar John R. Carling
British Dictionary definitions for costliness


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 costliness



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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