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spend Line breaks: spend

Definition of spend in English:

verb (past and past participle spentspɛnt)

[with object]
1Give (money) to pay for goods, services, or so as to benefit someone or something: the firm has spent £100,000 on hardware
More example sentences
  • We spent too much money on people that hate us and loathe us and want us out of their country.
  • By now there should be nobody who doesn't agree that how much money we spend per pupil makes a difference.
informal fork out, shell out, dish out, cough up, blow, splash out, splurge, lash out
British informal stump up, blue
Australian/New Zealand informal knock down
archaic spring
North American informal pony up
1.1Use or give out the whole of; exhaust: she couldn’t buy any more because she had already spent her money the initial surge of interest had spent itself
More example sentences
  • She put her hands on her hips and watched as the can spent itself.
  • The lightning spent itself and the coach fell to the ground unconscious.
  • The last drops of the rainfall spattered heavily against the cobblestones as the storm spent itself and shook itself off.
2Pass (time) in a specified way or in a particular place: she spent a lot of time travelling
More example sentences
  • She spent a sleepless night passing along the police line searching out scraps of news.
  • A driver without a resident's pass wanting to spend three hours in Piccadilly car park must find £6 in coins.
  • Last week the town council passed a motion to spend a day picking up litter around the town.


informal Back to top  
An amount of money paid out: the average spend at the cafe is £10 a head
More example sentences
  • This still amounts to an aggregate spend of several millions.
  • The average spend per child is continuing to rise year-on-year.
  • Microsoft group marketing manager Nick McGrath likens the spend to the amount used in launching a new car.


Old English spendan, from Latin expendere 'pay out'; partly also a shortening of obsolete dispend, from Latin dispendere 'pay out'.

  • expense from Late Middle English:

    Expense goes back to Latin expendere ‘pay out’, and shares a root with Old English spend.


spend a penny

British informal Used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate: you can’t get to sleep when you want to spend a penny
[With reference to the coin-operated locks of public toilets]
More example sentences
  • For years drinkers at The Sally Pussey Inn in Swindon Road have been spending a penny in the avocado-coloured urinals blissfully unaware that they may be worth quite a few pounds.
  • At the Lindale Post Office and General Store, villagers have been spending pounds on the National Lottery to ensure people can go on spending a penny in the public toilet.
  • Supt Lacy said those caught spending a penny in public could be hit with maximum fines of £500.



Pronunciation: /ˈspɛndəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • This means food vouchers spendable only at certain supermarkets, and dispersal to one ‘no choice’ offer of accommodation, often away from existing communities, lawyers and even families.
  • ‘It's still spendable, so it's not exactly scrap,’ Astor pointed out.
  • But having no spendable currency hampered their happiness.


Pronunciation: /ˈspɛndə/
Example sentences
  • The biggest spenders in monetary terms are Britain at €41 bn, France at €34 bn and Germany at €24 bn.
  • By far the biggest spenders are the Norwegians and the Finns, who spent almost €50 and €38 per person on haircare products in 2002.
  • The highest spenders are people aged between 45 and 64, this group spending on average €314 each on the net before Christmas.

Words that rhyme with spend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

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Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly