\ˈspend \
spent\ˈspent \; 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 \ 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

Indiana alone has spent at least $21 million on cleanups thus far, or an average of about $500,000 per site, the report said. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Cleanups at Pence family's failed gas stations costing taxpayers millions: report," 14 July 2018 Harris said since the change in duties, Door County wardens are spending the majority of their time in Peninsula, Potawatomi and other state parks and far less in patrols on other public areas, including on the water. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin warden shortage and changes in responsibilities raise concerns," 14 July 2018 European countries should spend more on defense and security and develop the diplomatic heft to match their economic weight, many Europe analysts say. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "How strong a Europe does US want? In Trump era, that's still the issue.," 13 July 2018 Thayer said no taxpayer money was spent on the trips, which were approved in advance by Senate President Robert Stivers and met all legal requirements of the legislature's ethics commission. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "A GOP group influential in Kentucky is funded by tobacco and casinos," 13 July 2018 But Mr Lindert is correct that the effects of welfare depend not just on how much is spent but how. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 Callers spend an average of 14 minutes talking with their Accolade health-care assistant, an indication of the trust that people have in them, Barnes said.. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Accolade, with 500 employees in Plymouth Meeting, seeks to boldly cut health costs for big companies," 12 July 2018 In our particular category, there’s probably $30 billion to $40 billion or $50 billion being spent every year on all of this technology, but in this customer’s data center. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 July 2018 O’Connor said most of his time has been spent trying to develop relationships with the players. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "New Orlando City coach James O’Connor brings ‘black-and-white’ mentality to training," 11 July 2018

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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Statistics for spend

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spend

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

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More Definitions for spend



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 \
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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Comments on spend

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