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cost (someone) dearly

To cause dire, harmful, or problematic consequences for someone, especially regarding a foolish action or a mistake. Drinking all night before his final exams is going to cost him dearly. That late penalty could cost them dearly, as it now puts their opponents within range to tie the game.
See also: cost, dearly

pay too dearly for (one's) whistle

To spend a lot of money or effort on something that is ultimately disappointing or unfulfilling. The phrase refers to a story by Benjamin Franklin about a boy who wanted a whistle so much that he overpaid for it and soon lost interest in it. I worked night and day to get this position, but now I have very few friends—I guess I paid too dearly for my whistle.
See also: dearly, pay, whistle
References in classic literature ?
Well, let us talk seriously, my dear child: those hundred thousand guilders will be a nice marriage portion, with your pretty face; you shall have them, Rosa, dear Rosa, and I ask nothing in return but your promise that you will marry a fine young man, whom you love, and who will love you, as dearly as I loved my flowers.
It was given me by an Eskimo in the Sandwich Islands--where there are no sandwiches at all--and as long as I carry it every living thing I meet will love me dearly.
cried Dorothy, who as soon as she heard the sweet voice of the girlish Ruler of Oz knew that she would soon learn to love her dearly.
Here do I sit now, The desert nigh, and yet I am So far still from the desert, Even in naught yet deserted: That is, I'm swallowed down By this the smallest oasis--: --It opened up just yawning, Its loveliest mouth agape, Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets: Then fell I right in, Right down, right through--in 'mong you, Ye friendly damsels dearly loved
This the finest air drinking, With nostrils out-swelled like goblets, Lacking future, lacking remembrances Thus do I sit here, ye Friendly damsels dearly loved, And look at the palm-tree there, How it, to a dance-girl, like, Doth bow and bend and on its haunches bob, --One doth it too, when one view'th it long
You can hardly think it perhaps, dear Mr Clennam,' she spoke with great agitation, 'seeing me going from it of my own free will and choice, but I do so dearly love it
PICKLES BRYAN (Director Pickles & Swallow Ltd) On 15th January 2015 At Oxford Grange Nursing Home, and of Flockton, aged 85 years, Bryan, much loved and loving husband of Joyce, dearly loved dad of David, Graham and the late Andrew, beloved brother of Barbara, Donald and the late Geoffrey, remembered with love by grandson Damien, Sandra, Jane and Sarah.
Peacefully in hospital on December 2nd, aged 91 years, Joan, dearly loved wife of the late Ray, dear mam of Angela, Sharon, Lesley and the late Paul, a dear motherin-law of Keith, Liz, Charlie and the late John and a dearest grandma and great grandma.
Peacefully at home on 10th September, aged 80 years, Ailsa (nee Robinson), dearly loved wife of the late Clive, dearest mam of Susan and Philip and much loved nana of Tom and Amy, also a dear sisterin-law of Peter and Rachel.
Devoted wife of the late Jack, dearly loved mother of Susan and Judith and dear motherin-law of Richard, also a dearly loved granny and great-granny.
Peacefully in hospital on 2nd August 2015, aged 85 years, Thomas (Tommy), dearly beloved husband of Jean and devoted father of Helen and Grahame.
Peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on March 18th, aged 72 years, Esther, dearly loved wife of Gordon, a much loved mam of Peter, Ian and Mark, a dear mother-inlaw of Julie and Sarah and a devoted grandma of Daniel, Lia, Andrew, Ellie, Jacob and Joshua, also a loving sister of Lillian.
BOWDEN Adrian Suddenly on Saturday Nov 15, 2014, Adrian of Simpsons Way, Pyle; dearly beloved son of Len and Shirley, much loved brother of Julie and Hayley, dearly loved by Kelly.
BALLATT Violet Remembering our Vi, a dearly loved sister who would have been 90 today.
Love Carol xx WHITE Ron In memory of a dear Dad and Grandad, dearly loved and sadly missed by Valerie, Tudor and family.