Definition of budget in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbəjət/


1An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time: keep within the household budget [as modifier]: a budget deficit
More example sentences
  • This made for an expensive month when you take into account that the average European household's budget over the same period was just €725.
  • A raging budget deficit would seem to indicate the contrary.
  • Take a look at some of the bigger items of expenditure in your budget.
financial plan, forecast;
accounts, statement
1.1An annual or other regular estimate of national revenue and expenditure put forward by the government, often including details of changes in taxation.
Example sentences
  • It is the most forward-looking or progressive Budget of the five Budgets delivered by the minority coalition Government since we came to office 5 years ago.
  • At the mid-point of our time in office - and with two Budgets remaining after today - it is timely to review the progress made and set a new vision and strategy for the future.
  • As I have stated in my previous Budgets, I will fulfil the taxation commitments set out in our Programme for Government over the lifetime of this administration.
1.2The amount of money needed or available for a purpose: they have a limited budget
More example sentences
  • The state legislature found money in its budget to cover the amount.
  • During economic downturns, states tend to balance their budgets by taking money away from infrastructure projects.
  • But the city has denied the request because there is not enough money allocated in the budget for excess fees.
allowance, allocation, quota;
grant, award, funds, resources, capital
2 archaic A quantity of material, typically that which is written or printed.

verb (budgets, budgeting, budgeted)

[no object]
1Allow or provide a particular amount of money in a budget: the university is budgeting for a deficit (as noun budgeting) corporate planning and budgeting
More example sentences
  • Paying by direct deposit helps us to budget by allowing us to spread the cost of bills, avoid missing payments and save time.
  • It's essential we bring in as much tax as possible so we can provide the services we have budgeted for.
  • The harrowing scenes of grief at the funerals of the young victims were a dreadful reminder of the complacency that placed safety in second place to budgeting for so long.
allocate, allot, allow, earmark, designate, set aside
1.1 [with object] Provide (a sum of money) for a particular purpose from a budget: the council proposes to budget $100,000 to provide grants (as adjective budgeted) a budgeted figure of $31,000
More example sentences
  • When the employer refused to consider the union's proposals, the local decided to budget its own funds to prepare a clear language version of the contract.
  • The money was budgeted out of council funds with the aim of improving tourist facilities in the town.
  • As we fight a war today, we need to budget money to take care of the health needs of the men and women that are fighting that war.


Inexpensive: a budget guitar
More example sentences
  • Discount travel on budget airlines is real and finally cheap, although there is a potentially troubling lack of genuine competition.
  • A smaller luxury version of an inexpensive gift is better than a budget version of something bigger you cannot afford
  • The growth in budget airlines and cheap car hire means travel is not difficult.
cheap, inexpensive, economy, affordable, low-cost, low-price, cut-rate, discount, bargain, downmarket


on a budget

With a restricted amount of money: we’re traveling on a budget
More example sentences
  • The bottom line is both stores offer good value if you're feeding a family on a budget - especially if you shop carefully and look for the best deals.
  • Immediately we hopped on a public bus, a sure-fire way to see a city on a budget.
  • No charge for this tip particularly if you come to Rio on a budget.


Late Middle English: from Old French bougette, diminutive of bouge 'leather bag', from Latin bulga 'leather bag, knapsack', of Gaulish origin. Compare with bulge. The word originally meant a pouch or wallet, and later its contents. In the mid 18th century, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, in presenting his annual statement, was said “to open the budget.” In the late 19th century the use of the term was extended from governmental to private or commercial finances.

  • When the British Chancellor of the Exchequer holds up the battered case containing details of his budget speech, he may or may not know that he is making a gesture towards the origin of the word. A budget was originally a pouch or wallet. The word came from French in the late Middle Ages, and goes back to Latin bulga ‘leather sack, bag’, from which English also gets bulge (Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: budg·et

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