out·​lay | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlā How to pronounce outlay (audio) , ˌau̇t-ˈlā \
outlaid\ ˈau̇t-​ˌlād How to pronounce outlaid (audio) , ˌau̇t-​ˈlād \; outlaying

Definition of outlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to lay out (money) : expend


out·​lay | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlā How to pronounce outlay (audio) \

Definition of outlay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of expending
2 : expenditure, payment outlays for national defense

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Examples of outlay in a Sentence

Verb the nation had outlaid nearly 20 billion dollars on social programs at that point Noun The initial outlay for the program will be 2.4 million dollars. Maintaining a horse requires considerable outlay.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Once, that outlay might have won him more than mockery. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Media’s Irrational Obsession With Campaign War Chests," 22 Nov. 2019 After attempts to land Wilfried Zaha tanked, £72m was outlaid on Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, with deadline day seeing the defence shored up with the signings of Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney and, controversially, Chelsea's David Luiz. SI.com, "Arsenal 2019/20 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man and Predictions," 9 Aug. 2019 Allardyce, by contrast, has had a great season but many felt his side (Everton) have underperformed after a hefty £182m outlay this season. SI.com, "Roy Hodgson Has Succeeded Where His Old British Rivals Have Failed in Becoming a Fan Favourite," 9 May 2018 However, Atleti’s hierarchy will have had twice as much to celebrate, with signs that the club’s reported €240m outlay on the 67,000 seater stadium could prove a savvy bit of business long-term, as reported by Marca via Football Espana. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid Smash Their Matchday Profit Margin Record in Opening Match at New Stadium," 19 Sep. 2017 In the 18 months before his fall from grace, his company had outlaid more than $20 billion. Richard Mcgregor, WSJ, "China Takes On Its New Tycoons," 13 Oct. 2017 Seven goals in as many matches for the Red Devils has made that £75m outlay seem like a snip for Jose Mourinho's men, and has left Evertonians feeling aggrieved that their side couldn't do more to eek out more cash for their former star's signature. SI.com, "FanVoice: Supporters Pick the Striker They Believe Will Win This Season's EPL Golden Boot Award," 10 Oct. 2017 The document lists the FS Investors outlay for the development, minus the stadium. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Documents: SDSU's SoccerCity arguments don't always add up," 23 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Including the Colombian’s value, who has only started four of 12 La Liga games this season, would bring the cash outlay down. SI.com, "Real Madrid Tipped to Poach New Arsenal Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Next Summer," 6 Nov. 2019 Hiring the next coaching staff probably pushes the total outlay to $30 million. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Willie Taggart's catchphrase is 'Do Something,' and FSU did by firing him," 4 Nov. 2019 While the grant is expected to total $53.4 million over five years, the outlay will be subject to annual changes in federal budget allocations. BostonGlobe.com, "The National Institute on Aging has awarded a five-year grant worth up to $53.4 million to Boston’s Hebrew SeniorLife and Brown University to find ways to improve the hodgepodge of care now available for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.," 11 Sep. 2019 For many companies, the large outlays and disappearing profit margins risk throwing lending covenants with banks out of whack. New York Times, "‘It’s Just a Nightmare.’ Despite Tariff Delay, Toy Makers Are Worried.," 15 Aug. 2019 That’s a big dollar outlay, particularly for a kid (age 22 next month), who is still piecing together his complete game as if working the knobs of an Etch A Sketch. BostonGlobe.com, "Coyle's quick one-timer," 16 Nov. 2019 Venue and equipment costs are the biggest outlays, but McCullough says for a conference room in a hotel with a projector (many festivals offer exactly this setup), a figure of $3,000 would easily cover this. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, ""People Can Be Exploited": How Below-the-Radar Film Festivals Prey on Struggling Moviemakers," 31 Oct. 2019 The restructuring, announced in July 2018, should include cash outlays of about $7 billion, and special charges against earnings totaling $11 billion over the course of three to five years. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Ford debt has been downgraded to junk," 10 Sep. 2019 The updated numbers are forty-six trillion dollars in revenues and fifty-seven trillion dollars in outlays, or spending. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Why Mark Sanford Might Challenge Donald Trump," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outlay.' 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 outlay


1802, in the meaning defined above


1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for outlay

Time Traveler

The first known use of outlay was in 1798

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Statistics for outlay

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Outlay.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlaid?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=outlay02. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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More Definitions for outlay


How to pronounce outlay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outlay

formal : an amount of money that is spent


out·​lay | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlā How to pronounce outlay (audio) \

Kids Definition of outlay

: an amount of money spent

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More from Merriam-Webster on outlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlay

Spanish Central: Translation of outlay

Nglish: Translation of outlay for Spanish Speakers

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having a smooth flowing sound

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