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

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Other Words from spend

spendable \ ˈspen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce spendable (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web For example, San Francisco head coach Steve Mariucci had grown up as a Green Bay fan and had spent four seasons (1992-95) as the quarterbacks coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff with the Packers. Steve Kroner, SFChronicle.com, "Steve Young, Steve Mariucci reflect on 49ers beating Packers on The Catch II," 19 Jan. 2020 In the twelve months preceding the 2016 election, the Trump campaign had spent more on social media than any other candidate, including Clinton. The Economist, "Digital disinformation is destroying society but we can fight back," 17 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, Netflix has spent nearly $1.8 billion on advertising through the first nine months of 2019, according to the company’s most recent earnings report. Sahil Patel, WSJ, "NBC’s Peacock Enlists Advertisers and Cable Companies in Marketing Push," 16 Jan. 2020 By the early 1900s, the shipmates had spent more time in America than in their homelands. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2020/02/clotilda-americas-last-slave-ship-stole-them-from-home-it-couldnt-steal-their-identities-feature.html," 16 Jan. 2020 The library workers, with help from the city’s IT and parks and recreation department staff, have spent the past month keeping most services going despite the disruption. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Weeks after leak, League City library building reopens," 16 Jan. 2020 One of those years would be spent conceptualizing and relaunching Good Morning America‘s website. Joi-marie Mckenzie, Essence, "Robin Roberts Is The Inspirational History-Maker Black Women Deserve," 16 Jan. 2020 The tiny city of Bessemer, in Michigan’s remote Upper Peninsula, has spent $3,400 on a marijuana-sniffing instrument called the Nasal Ranger. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Nasal Ranger: A Hobbyist Weed Farm's Worst Enemy," 15 Jan. 2020 Weinstein has spent more than two decades locating and restoring violins that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. al, "'Dreams of Hope’ co-directed by UAB’s Dr. Henry Panion, to premiere on PBS stations nationwide," 15 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for spend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spend

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spend. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for spend


How to pronounce spend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spend

: to use (money) to pay for something
: to allow (time) to pass in a particular place or while doing a particular activity
: to use (energy or effort) to do something


\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spend

Spanish Central: Translation of spend

Nglish: Translation of spend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spend

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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