What does costly mean?

Definitions for costly
ˈkɔst li, ˈkɒst-cost·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word costly.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dearly-won, costlyadjective

    entailing great loss or sacrifice

    "a dearly-won victory"

  2. costly, dear(p), high-priced, pricey, pricyadjective

    having a high price

    "costly jewelry"; "high-priced merchandise"; "much too dear for my pocketbook"; "a pricey restaurant"


  1. costlyadjective

    Of high cost; expensive.

  2. Etymology: Composition:

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Costlyadjective

    Sumptuous; expensive; of a high price.

    Etymology: from cost.

    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not exprest in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Leave for a while thy costly country-seat;
    And to be great indeed, forget
    The nauseous pleasures of the great. Dryden.

    The chapel of St. Laurence will be perhaps the most costly piece of work on the face of the earth, when completed. Joseph Addison, Remarks on Italy.

    He is here speaking of Paradise, which he represents as a most charming and delightful place; abounding with things not only useful and convenient, but even the most rare and valuable, the most costly and desireable. John Woodward, Nat. History.


  1. costly

    Costly refers to something that has a high price or is expensive. It can also refer to something involving great effort, loss or sacrifice, or consuming a lot of time or resources.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Costlyadjective

    of great cost; expensive; dear

  2. Costlyadjective

    gorgeous; sumptuous

  3. Etymology: [From Cost expense.]

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'costly' in Adjectives Frequency: #935

How to pronounce costly?

How to say costly in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of costly in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of costly in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of costly in a Sentence

  1. Jackie Wang:

    It's really costly and time-consuming for smelters to shut down and re-open.

  2. President Barack Obama:

    We should not be drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria. That's what groups like ISIL want. They know they can't defeat us on the battlefield. ISIL fighters were part of the insurgency that we faced in Iraq. But they also know that if we occupy foreign lands, they can maintain insurgencies for years, killing thousands of our troops and draining our resources, and using our presence to draw new recruits.

  3. Boris Nemtsov:

    This government wades into a costly, fratricidal war in Ukraine and into pointless confrontation with the West. We all feel the effects of this insane policy.

  4. Fadel Gheit:

    For Shell to back down at this point, it's a defeat, it's disgraceful, it's costly.

  5. Lydia Waithera:

    Good machines have to be imported and are costly.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for costly

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"costly." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/costly>.

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    the reduction of expenditures in order to become financially stable
    A deterioration
    B rogue
    C bias
    D downsizing

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