\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Evers wants to spend $15 million over the next two years to begin overhauling the 1970s-era computer system that administers unemployment benefits. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 June 2021 State lawmakers are also moving to assume control over how to spend nearly $5.3 billion in federal COVID stimulus money — a largely flexible lump of cash that can be used in the coming years. BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2021 Senate Republicans unveiled a plan last week to spend $928 billion over eight years to update roads, bridges, rail and transit systems. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 3 June 2021 In all, 25 million people — coming to the county for the day or overnight — are forecast to spend $7.6 billion on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions this year. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 June 2021 Trisha Thadani reports on how the mayor wants to spend this money. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 June 2021 Meanwhile, Breed on Tuesday introduced a budget proposal for the next two years that aims to spend $1 billion on addressing homelessness in San Francisco. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 2 June 2021 The draft shows that NOACA wants to spend roughly $13.4 billion in federal, state, and local revenues over 30 years to maintain road networks and improve transit systems while expanding options for bicyclists and improving safety for pedestrians. Steven Litt, cleveland, 2 June 2021 Intel, the American chip-maker, has outlined plans to spend $20 billion to erect new plants in Arizona. New York Times, 1 June 2021

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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spend. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spend

Nglish: Translation of spend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spend for Arabic Speakers


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