Meaning of spend in English:


Pronunciation /spɛnd/

See synonyms for spend

Translate spend into Spanish

verbpast participle verb spent/spɛnt/

[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’
    • ‘people are beginning to spend on the high street’
    • ‘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.’
    pay out, lay out, expend, disburse
    View synonyms
    1. 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’
      • ‘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.’
      use up, consume, exhaust, deplete, drain
      View synonyms
  • 2Pass (time) in a specified way or in a particular place.

    ‘she spent a lot of time travelling’
    • ‘he spent ten years in Malawi’
    • ‘the dancers have spent the past few months rehearsing for the show’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the hours passed they spent their time driving around the small commercial area, looking at all there was to look at.’
    • ‘April passed, and Charlie spent her sixteenth birthday away from her family and away from Adam.’
    • ‘He spends time passing out pamphlets on the street and reading the Bible in our basement.’
    • ‘So he prepares meticulously, invites everyone he knows, and spends his days passing out flyers.’
    • ‘The months passed, and I spent them staring directly at Benny during every class.’
    • ‘You see, Summer and I had spent a good ten straight hours in the mall filling out applications to stores, and only one had answered.’
    • ‘Leaving Ireland, aged 22, he spent ten years travelling across Europe, playing all the while.’
    • ‘I spent a laborious ten minutes updating my particulars, then pressed Save.’
    • ‘Earlier this month he spent ten days in the city which will host this year's Olympics in August.’
    • ‘Here, she spent the next ten years of her life, brought up in an atmosphere of love and affection.’
    • ‘She now went into nursing full time and spent the next ten years working in England.’
    • ‘‘They spend a lot of time with Bradley and I just filled up when they told me what they were doing,’ she said.’
    • ‘The ten celebrities will spend two weeks in Australia surviving on rice and water.’
    • ‘Plus, managers spend all their time hiring replacements rather than running your business.’
    • ‘So the University hired contractors who spent weeks making sure that all systems were clean.’
    • ‘Even though he didn't go before a judge, he had to hire a lawyer and spent a year preparing his case.’
    • ‘I spent decades on benefits as a single parent bringing up children.’
    pass, occupy, fill, take up, while away, use up
    put in, devote, employ
    View synonyms


  • An amount of money paid out.

    • ‘the average spend at the cafe is £10 a head’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said that companies should maintain advertising spends, even in a climate where it may be more difficult to justify them.’
    • ‘The Government also spent less per person on health in 2001 than the average spend of 30 countries surveyed in the report.’
    • ‘The figures represent an average spend of £45.50 per head but the UK still lags behind several other countries.’
    • ‘Moreover, the average spend by overseas visitors in the county is significantly less than in other regions.’
    • ‘That is, the higher the spend on the advertising, the worse the movie is.’
    • ‘The directories secure seven per cent of the advertising spend in Ireland.’
    • ‘The company carefully monitors the effectiveness of its advertising spend, and monitors the sites from which punters travel to place bets.’
    • ‘Health Boards around the country lowered their advertising spend by up to 50 per cent in recent months in order to trim costs.’
    • ‘Advertising spend all but dried up over July and August.’
    • ‘Most of its advertising spend goes to local newspapers, much of it in Britain, and to local radio stations.’
    • ‘By selling wine in such large quantities, the company boosts its average spend per customer.’
    • ‘This has been achieved by increasing customer numbers and their average spend.’
    • ‘Most major campaigns now factor in a spend of between 3 and 5 per cent of their budget on washroom advertising.’
    • ‘In Lancaster county alone, the number of visitors is five million annually and the spends are estimated at $400 million, on average.’
    • ‘While some complain of London prices, the average spend is around £30, all in.’
    • ‘The total spend on both the games and the advertising for the Third Place campaign is around €3 million.’
    • ‘They will also downsize their operations and cut back on both capital and advertising 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Women are demanding much more for their money from city centre toilets as the cost of spending a penny in York doubled.’
      • ‘Bus drivers and travellers needing to spend a penny will have to cross their legs after the loos next to Chippenham's bus station were shut down this week.’
      • ‘‘I must just go and spend a penny,’ are his first words.’
      • ‘Users will be asked to pay a pound if they want to spend a penny.’
      • ‘For years visitors have complained about the lack of a suitable place to spend a penny in the tourist resort.’
      • ‘However, if one wanted to spend a penny in the toilets in the grounds of the local Catholic Church they can be assured of them being clean.’
      • ‘Spare a thought for the workers who count the seconds as they dash to spend a penny.’


      With reference to the coin-operated locks of public toilets.


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