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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
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 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 Ultra-low borrowing costs mean the interest outlay is relatively minuscule, almost a rounding error. Larry Light, Fortune, "More than Half of All Stock Buybacks are Now Financed by Debt. Here’s Why That’s a Problem," 20 Aug. 2019 The initial outlay was $51 million to provide 1,000 beds for unaccompanied minors. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "House panel prods migrant detention firms for info, suggests conflict by Trump's ex-chief of staff," 11 July 2019 La Vecchia Signora, who naturally top the club wage-bill ranking with a whopping €294m in outlay, also have Sami Khedira, Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro and Emre Can in the top 20. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo & Juventus Dominate List of Serie A's Highest Earners," 10 Sep. 2019 Writing thank-you letters to your host after an entertainment is, indeed, a requirement of good manners, although the cash outlay involved is irrelevant. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: I publicly shamed these rude people, and they lashed back," 14 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of outlay


1802, in the meaning defined above


1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about outlay

Time Traveler for outlay

Time Traveler

The first known use of outlay was in 1798

See more words from the same year

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/outlay. Accessed 7 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on outlay

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


the study of flags

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!