Definition of costly in English:



  • 1Costing a lot; expensive.

    ‘major problems requiring costly repairs’
    • ‘It's a costly ritual, and one that I begrudge, but it beats my woeful attempts with a needle and thread.’
    • ‘It was considered to be too costly to repair and was offered for sale and removal.’
    • ‘The problem with this argument is that the managerial regime is still relatively costly in two ways.’
    • ‘Having to pull back at the last minute was costly in both money and reputation.’
    • ‘Legal processes are costly in terms of both the fees and the management time involved.’
    • ‘This scared her because she feared not following through might one day be costly in terms of her job.’
    • ‘It's expensive, but not as eye-wateringly costly as owning and running your own jet.’
    • ‘Research of this kind requires a lot of expensive brainpower and costly equipment.’
    • ‘The repairs will not only be costly but will also take a considerable amount of time to complete.’
    • ‘Even putting together a bid, with no guarantee of success, would be costly.’
    • ‘All the time our idiot in his costly clothing with expensive tackle failed to catch a single fish.’
    • ‘Being able to prevent costly repairs is crucial on such expensive machinery.’
    • ‘As in real life, a managerial appointment made in haste could end up being financially costly in the long run.’
    • ‘There can be a question mark over access to the property and it could prove impossible or costly to try to cover all the options.’
    • ‘Many people are going to find it is too costly to apply to the university of their choice.’
    • ‘Uneven pavements can cause very serious injuries which is costly for health services and the council.’
    • ‘They have plowed billions into the project and are keen to ensure it doesn't turn into a costly flightless bird.’
    • ‘The more you reduce something, the harder and more costly it becomes to shrink it any further.’
    • ‘It is also useful for parents wishing to let their kids play with a toy before making a costly purchase.’
    • ‘Church authorities decided to demolish the building because it was proving too costly to maintain.’
    expensive, dear, high-cost, high-priced, highly priced, big-budget, overpriced, exorbitant, extortionate, immoderate, extravagant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Causing suffering, loss, or disadvantage.
      ‘the government's biggest and most costly mistake’
      • ‘Several anglers meanwhile did own up to missing bites, which proved costly.’
      • ‘It could prove a costly mistake and mean the difference between community service and prison.’
      • ‘He later admitted his decision to try and drive the green on the third was a costly mistake.’
      • ‘However, a couple of fatal flaws in an otherwise solid defence proved costly.’
      • ‘This will teach him very early in life that some mistakes are costly and cannot afford to be made again.’
      • ‘It indicates that the dropped catch proved too costly for the team.’
      • ‘Mistakes also tend to figure highly and sometimes those mistakes can prove to be very costly.’
      • ‘As can be seen from the failure to pinpoint him this time round, the lapse in security was a careless and costly blunder.’
      • ‘The miss proved costly when, five minutes later, his own goal put the game beyond them.’
      • ‘It is also a pity that, after such a fine career, he made such a costly error.’
      • ‘This was to prove costly both in financial terms and in the loss of status in western Europe.’
      • ‘With hindsight it might have been a costly mistake but we put the education of our students first and foremost.’
      • ‘In fairness, it was probably the only mistake the referee made all night but it was costly.’
      • ‘Such knowledge could save them from some costly misunderstandings and mistakes.’
      • ‘But he suffered a costly motor failure in his second heat when his motor failed at the starting gate.’
      • ‘The more places help and support are available, the greater their chances of kicking the costly habit.’
      • ‘When is somebody going to take responsibility for these costly failures and mistakes?’
      • ‘It seems the council missed out on an opportunity and made a costly mistake.’
      catastrophic, ruinous, disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic, devastating, crippling, crushing, fatal, lethal, damaging, harmful, injurious, deleterious, woeful, grievous, lamentable, dire, awful, terrible, unfortunate
      View synonyms