- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. dear, high-priced. See expensive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for costly
Pulling oil from the tar sands is costly, even more so when you tack transportation costs on top.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Jan. 4
January 5, 2015
The studio took him at his word and jumped at the chance to close down, or at least reduce, his costly operation.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Is she too hawkish for the activists who helped make her vote for the Iraq War so costly back in the 2008 campaign?Want President Hillary? Then Primary Her
November 24, 2014
Governor Bobby Jindal insists it would be too costly for the state, whose share would total nearly $2 billion over 10 years.Living in Louisiana’s Tragic Health-Care Limbo
November 15, 2014
No matter how constitutionally suspect, how costly, how slapdash, or how disappointing a grand policy might be, well, they tried.Our Lame Cult of the Presidency
October 14, 2014
She was plain; she was simple; but it was the costly simplicity of extravagance.Her Father's Daughter
I have studied the sex in a very celebrated and costly school.In the Valley
A fine and costly residence, particularly that of a great official.The Devil's Dictionary
Hn-lfing, name of a costly sword, which Finn presents to Hengest, 1144.Beowulf
But we have costly presents for those who are friendly towards us.'Freeland
- of great price or value; expensive
- entailing great loss or sacrificea costly victory
- splendid; lavish
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
Word Origin and History for costly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper