Meaning of pay dearly in English:

pay dearly


  • 1Obtain something at a high cost or great effort.

    ‘his master must have paid dearly for such a magnificent beast’
    • ‘The taxpayer has already paid dearly for the construction of these houses, which cost £78,000 each in 1984, he said.’
    • ‘In other words you are paying dearly to maintain a loan while your ability to clear the debt is falling each year.’
    • ‘But, I made her pay dearly for her purchases - $227 for four yearbooks and an old diploma and almost $150 for a collection of papers and photographs.’
    • ‘Who would pay dearly to cross the ocean to teach middle-school math in one of Southern California's lowest-performing school districts?’
    • ‘A country pays and pays dearly for the development of its populace.’
    • ‘Because developers pay dearly to lease state-owned land for periods of years, there is great pressure to complete revenue-generating structures quickly.’
    • ‘And without toilets, they had to queue for hours and pay dearly for the privilege of using the smelly loo of some shopkeeper or building watchman who saw a profit in nature's most basic need.’
    • ‘However Irish viewers have to pay dearly for them.’
    • ‘Why is it that record companies pay dearly for radio play and fight Internet play?’
    • ‘In fact, the vision requires vast sectors of society to pay dearly, and from their own pockets.’
    1. 1.1Suffer for a misdemeanour or failure.
      ‘they paid dearly for wasting goalscoring opportunities’
      • ‘And over 100,000 Americans have paid dearly for this failure.’
      • ‘In this case, they haven't, and now they're paying dearly for their candour.’
      • ‘This was probably a mistake for which they would pay dearly.’
      • ‘They make false promises, fool themselves and people around them, and more often than not, pay dearly later.’
      • ‘This period of their game was marked by poor passing and indifferent play for which they would later pay dearly.’
      • ‘It is a grim irony lost on them, for which they will pay dearly in elections to come.’
      • ‘It is a betrayal of civilised values and we shall pay dearly for it.’
      • ‘However, they made poor use of a lot of scoring chances for which they were to pay dearly later in the game.’
      • ‘In both cases, they must pay dearly for their deeds.’
      • ‘The only condition is that the hapless Alfred must pay dearly for rejecting her many years before.’