Something that's costly is expensive. The worst kind of news you can hear from your car mechanic is that you need costly repairs.
Things that cost a lot of money are costly, but you can also use the word for events that cost you other things — like time, happiness, or advantage. A soldier's costly mistake might result in someone's death, and a costly law might end up hurting the people it's meant to help.In the 13th century, costful was used instead, and both words stem from cost, which has a Latin root, constare, "to stand at," or "to cost."
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘costly'.
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