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


the nation had outlaid nearly 20 billion dollars on social programs at that point


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

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

Federal outlays rose 9%, to $1.8 trillion, while revenues declined less than 1%, to $1.28 trillion. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "U.S. Budget Deficit Grew 39% in First Five Months of Fiscal 2019," 22 Mar. 2019 The carriers are struggling to keep the ships full to make up for the big capital outlays, however, and the effort is crashing against supply chains. Costas Paris, WSJ, "A Storm Is Gathering Over Container Shipping," 3 Mar. 2019 After the initial outlay, the Workhorse step vans have a running cost of 4 cents a mile. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Electric trucks deliver savings, silence in growing fleet sales," 24 Aug. 2017 But President Trump’s White House wants to instead boost outlays for the department’s weapons program. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: White House seeking more clean energy cuts despite congressional opposition," 27 June 2018 Except of course for that outlay of cash — not to mention time and emotion. Horacio Salinas, Allure, "The Rise of Egg Freezing as a Fertility Choice," 15 Oct. 2018 The Congressional Budget Office, playing its usual skunk-at-the-picnic role, estimated that actual outlays would be reduced by about $1 billion. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "After Blowing Up the Deficit, House Passes Mostly Phony Spending Cuts," 8 June 2018 Moshiri has been left a tad unimpressed with the work conducted by Walsh since his appointment from Leicester City in August 2016, with Idrissa Gana Gueye and Jordan Pickford the only big plus points from an outlay of over £200m during that time. SI.com, "Everton Close in on PSV Technical Director As Replacement for Maligned Steve Walsh," 4 Apr. 2018 The benefit of shorter drives will come for a price, however: Permits are necessary for private drivers to use the bridge, and officials hope the surge in demand will help recoup some of the massive outlay spent on the construction project. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "China Opens Gargantuan 34-Mile Mega Bridge," 23 Oct. 2018

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

The first known use of outlay was in 1798

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More Definitions for outlay



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a strong desire or propensity

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