\ ˈspend How to pronounce spend (audio) \
spent\ ˈspent How to pronounce spend (audio) \; spending

Definition of spend

transitive verb

1 : to use up or pay out : expend
2a : exhaust, wear out the hurricane gradually spent itself
b : to consume wastefully : squander the waters are not ours to spend— J. R. Ellis
3 : to cause or permit to elapse : pass spend the night

intransitive verb

1 : to expend or waste wealth or strength
2 : to become expended or consumed
3 : to have an orgasm

Other Words from spend

spendable \ ˈspen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce spend (audio) \ adjective
spender noun

Examples of spend in a Sentence

I spent $30 on his birthday gift. They spend a lot on clothes and cars. I want to buy a new car, but I don't have much money to spend. Her willingness to spend freely made her popular among her friends. He spends lavishly on vacations. I spent my summer at the beach. She spent eight months living in New York City. Relaxing with friends is a great way to spend a weekend. Our cat spends most of his time sleeping. Too much of my time is spent arguing with customers. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Since the two characters reconnect in Maverick, Connelly and Cruise got to spend various days at sea and in the sky, the latter of which was rather eventful as Cruise piloted a P-51 Mustang. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2022 With fewer goods being made and fewer people with paychecks to spend at the start of the pandemic, manufacturers and shipping companies assumed that demand would drop sharply. New York Times, 20 May 2022 For a budget-friendly family stay, spend a weekend camping at Essence of Tranquility with a communal kitchen and patio. Alesandra Dubin, Woman's Day, 19 May 2022 Those holding the 7-day pass can spend all seven days at the same hotel if desired, subject to availability. David Nikel, Forbes, 18 May 2022 She was sentenced in April to spend 26 years in prison. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 13 May 2022 At a time when teenagers spend an average of 8.5 hours online each day, the bill would force social media companies to implement the strongest available safety settings by default for users under 18. Musadiq Bidar, CBS News, 12 May 2022 Morris attended Oregon as a freshman, but left in 1951 to enlist in the United States Air Force and, later, spend four years serving in the Korean War. oregonlive, 10 May 2022 Using the money for a revolving loan fund – as opposed to a one-time need -- also ensures the city doesn’t run afoul of federal guidelines that dictate when and how quickly a city must spend block grant money, Wackers said. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 9 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of spend

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for spend

Middle English, from Old English -spendan, from Medieval Latin expendere to disburse, use up, from Latin, to measure by weight, pay out — more at expend

Learn More About spend

Time Traveler for spend

Time Traveler

The first known use of spend was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near spend

Spencer roll



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spend

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spend. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for spend


\ ˈspend How to pronounce spend (audio) \
spent\ ˈspent \; spending

Kids Definition of spend

1 : to use (money) to pay for something
2 : to cause or allow (as time) to pass … he parked his car … and was spending considerable time walking about town.— Robert McCloskey, Homer Price
3 : to use wastefully : squander She spends a lot of energy worrying.

More from Merriam-Webster on spend

Nglish: Translation of spend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spend for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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