ex·​pen·​di·​ture | \ ik-ˈspen-di-chər How to pronounce expenditure (audio) , -də-ˌchu̇r, -də-ˌt(y)u̇r\

Definition of expenditure

1 : the act or process of expending an expenditure of energy
2 : something expended : disbursement, expense income should exceed expenditures

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Synonyms for expenditure


charge, cost, disbursement, expense, outgo, outlay

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Examples of expenditure in a Sentence

an increase in military expenditures an increase in military expenditure vast expenditures of time and effort The energy expenditure was significant. the expenditure of funds for the new school The project will require an expenditure of effort on everyone's part.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Figures for 2017 are estimated, and forecasted for 2018 Source: R&D Magazine (expenditure); Center for Strategic and International Studies; Global Innovation Index (innovation); SAFE Balance of Payment via. Bob Davis, WSJ, "How China Systematically Pries Technology From U.S. Companies," 26 Sep. 2018 State legislative hearings, and the meetings of school boards and city councils, nearly always allow public comment, especially when the expenditure of public money is being discussed. Craig Harris, azcentral, "East Valley charter, subject of Republic investigation, reverses itself after blocking public comment," 14 July 2018 The most likely threat to McDonnell had appeared to come from Lindsey, a retired sheriff’s commander who raised $330,000 and was supported by $410,000 in additional funds from an independent expenditure committee. Maya Lau, latimes.com, "A historic election shock gives a longshot the chance to topple L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell," 3 July 2018 Fight Back for a Better Tomorrow is an independent expenditure committee chaired by James Sweeney, president of the politically active International Brotherhood of Operating Engineers Local 150. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Morning Spin: Day after Supreme Court news, Emanuel jokes he'd 'like to pull out of this one nation and one state'," 29 June 2018 In a report dated July 10, NATO estimates that the U.S. defense expenditure as a share of GDP this year will be 3.5 percent. Eugene Kiely, USA TODAY, "Fact check: President Trump’s defense spending exaggerations," 12 July 2018 After initially cutting its $15,000 holiday lighting program from the budget, Oak Park trustees, at the urging of local businesses, will seek to reinstate the expenditure. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "'It’s just that warm, inviting feeling': At urging of business owners, Oak Park to reinstate holiday lighting program," 10 July 2018 The remaining expenditures, about $7,300, encompass miscellaneous items like overweight baggage fees, tips for drivers, concierges, and porters, and tickets to cultural sites. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Paris, Japan, Mexico City, Brazil – legislative staff travel at taxpayer expense," 1 June 2018 The largest expenditure remains the amount paid to Cumulus Radio for two months of radio advertising and for securing performers. Roy S. Johnson, AL.com, "Check that, BJCTA spent $70,398.46 on grand opening and honoring board member," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expenditure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of expenditure

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expenditure

irregular from expend

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Statistics for expenditure

Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expenditure

The first known use of expenditure was in 1769

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More Definitions for expenditure



English Language Learners Definition of expenditure

: an amount of money that is spent on something
: an amount of time, energy, effort, etc., that is used to do something
: the act of spending money


ex·​pen·​di·​ture | \ ik-ˈspen-di-chər How to pronounce expenditure (audio) \

Kids Definition of expenditure

1 : the act of spending (as money, time, or energy)
2 : something that is spent Keep a record of your expenditures.


ex·​pen·​di·​ture | \ ik-ˈspen-di-chər, -ˌchu̇r How to pronounce expenditure (audio) \

Legal Definition of expenditure

1 : the act or process of paying out
2 : something paid out — see also capital expenditure

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Comments on expenditure

What made you want to look up expenditure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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