out·​lay | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlā How to pronounce outlay (audio) , ˌau̇t-ˈlā \
outlaid\ ˈau̇t-​ˌlād How to pronounce outlay (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

Examples of outlay in a Sentence

Verb the nation had outlaid nearly 20 billion dollars on social programs at that point Noun 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 This is a great time for the interviewer to outlay strategies the company has implemented, and resources that have been allocated. Jen Jamula, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2021 In recent weeks, Biden has sought to revive a flagging operation in Iowa, spending more time in the state and outlaying more on online and TV ads ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Owned by a sizeable 24%, Manchester United simply have not been keeping clean sheets to justify the £5.5m outlay on their summer recruit. SI.com, 27 Sep. 2019 Once, that outlay might have won him more than mockery. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 22 Nov. 2019 After attempts to land Wilfried Zaha tanked, £72m was outlaid on Lille forward Nicolas Pepe, with deadline day seeing the defence shored up with the signings of Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney and, controversially, Chelsea's David Luiz. SI.com, 9 Aug. 2019 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, 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, 19 Sep. 2017 In the 18 months before his fall from grace, his company had outlaid more than $20 billion. Richard Mcgregor, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The staggering commitment to EVs, which will bring with it some 11,000 new jobs, marks the company’s single largest outlay of capital in its 118+-year history. Muqsit Ashraf, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Climate provisions account for $555 billion in the framework; the outlay mostly comprised of tax incentives to encourage use of clean energy, along with investments in climate resilience. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 28 Oct. 2021 The state’s outlay is coming from the ongoing $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital construction plan approved in 2019. John O'connor, chicagotribune.com, 17 Sep. 2021 That's especially worrisome this year after the pandemic exacerbated homelessness by punishing Brazil's job market and the federal government diminished welfare outlay that was a lifeline in 2020. Star Tribune, 30 July 2021 Still others believe that what ends up being included in the bill is more important than how much the outlay is, or how its costs are offset. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 14 Oct. 2021 Still, many experts say that the outlay won’t be nearly enough. Kris Maher, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021 Biden and his allies will insist that this massive outlay of federal spending is necessary as the country seeks to get back on its collective feet following almost two years of shutdowns and slowdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 Plus, the outlay by the college is a one-time cost—typically projected to be between $1,000 to $4,000 per student—paid when a student enters. Frederick Hess, Forbes, 10 May 2021

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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Cite this Entry

“Outlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlay. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for outlay



English Language Learners Definition of outlay

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on outlay

Nglish: Translation of outlay for Spanish Speakers


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