out·​lay | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlā How to pronounce outlay (audio) , ˌau̇t-ˈlā \
outlaid\ ˈau̇t-​ˌlād How to pronounce outlay (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 In recent weeks, Biden has sought to revive a flagging operation in Iowa, spending more time in the state and outlaying more on online and TV ads ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Leads Democratic Field in Poll of Iowa Caucus Goers," 10 May 2020 Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Owned by a sizeable 24%, Manchester United simply have not been keeping clean sheets to justify the £5.5m outlay on their summer recruit. SI.com, "Premier League Fantasy Football: Who's Hot and Who's Not in Gameweek 7," 27 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This kind of personalized package—served up with a warranty for less than $50,000 versus the GT500's $74,095 outlay—is why BFP gets 1000 calls every month asking about builds. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, "Tested: BFP 2019 Ford Mustang GT Delivers Budget Performance," 23 Dec. 2020 The private sector didn’t have NASA’s know-how, nor—more important—a business plan that could rationalize the massive outlay of capital required to operate in space. Clive Thompson, The New Republic, "Monetizing the Final Frontier," 3 Dec. 2020 The school’s foundation, Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education, has been approved for $3 million in Louisiana capital outlay funds, or those used to improve public property. Della Hasselle | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "A look at the new $27.5M Sci High campus in New Orleans medical corridor," 9 Dec. 2020 Despite this lavish outlay, both candidates have presented themselves as friends of the working class, acknowledging Montana’s past and present as a relative bastion of unionism. E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker, "The Montana Voters Who Could Decide Control of the Senate," 21 Oct. 2020 Four hundred bucks for a chain saw and an occasional chain will return the initial cost outlay relatively quickly. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "How the various kinds of firewood stack up," 28 Nov. 2020 The Senate’s Republican leadership backs a $500 billion outlay. Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, "Unemployment Claims Rise as Economic Worries Grow," 19 Nov. 2020 In Erie, a $12 million state grant had paved the way for significant upgrades to UPMC Park – an outlay that came before it was revealed the SeaWolves were on the original list of teams slated for contraction. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "As MLB's minor league revamp wraps up, embattled franchises await fate: 'We are waiting and hoping'," 13 Nov. 2020 The contract is the most significant outlay for Michael Jordan in his tenure as the Hornets’ owner, and a gamble for a team that has been making moves in an attempt to become more of a factor in the Eastern Conference. Marc Stein, New York Times, "2020 N.B.A. Free Agency Updates: Trades and Signings," 20 Nov. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Outlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlay. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outlay

Nglish: Translation of outlay for Spanish Speakers

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