• synonyms


[kawst-lee, kost-]
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adjective, cost·li·er, cost·li·est.
  1. costing much; expensive; high in price: a costly emerald bracelet; costly medical care.
  2. resulting in great expense: The upkeep of such a large house is costly.
  3. resulting in great detriment: It was a costly mistake because no one ever trusted him again.
  4. of great value; very valuable; sumptuous.
  5. lavish; extravagant.
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Origin of costly

First recorded in 1350–1400, costly is from the Middle English word costli. See cost, -ly
Related formscost·li·ness, nouno·ver·cost·li·ness, nouno·ver·cost·ly, adjectiveun·cost·ly, adjective

Synonyms for costly

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for costlier

valuable, pricey, catastrophic, ruinous, disastrous, dear, excessive, executive, exorbitant, extortionate, extravagant, fancy, high, high-priced, inordinate, precious, premium, steep, stiff, top

Examples from the Web for costlier

Contemporary Examples of costlier

Historical Examples of costlier

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for costlier


adjective -lier or -liest
  1. of great price or value; expensive
  2. entailing great loss or sacrificea costly victory
  3. splendid; lavish
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Derived Formscostliness, 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

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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper