verb (used with object), spent, spend·ing.

verb (used without object), spent, spend·ing.

to spend money, energy, time, etc.
Obsolete. to be consumed or exhausted.

Origin of spend

1125–75; Middle English spenden, continuing Old English -spendan (in āspendan, forspendan to spend entirely or utterly) < West Germanic < Latin expendere to pay out, expend; compare German spenden
Related formsan·ti·spend·ing, adjectiveun·der·spend, verb, un·der·spent, un·der·spend·ing.un·spend·ing, adjective

Synonyms for spend

1. Spend, disburse, expend, squander refer to paying out money. Spend is the general word: We spend more for living expenses now. Disburse implies expending from a specific source or sum to meet specific obligations, or paying in definite allotments: The treasurer has authority to disburse funds. Expend is more formal, and implies spending for some definite and (usually) sensible or worthy object: to expend most of one's salary on necessities. Squander suggests lavish, wasteful, or foolish expenditure: to squander a legacy. 2. use, apply, devote.

Antonyms for spend

1. earn, keep.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spending

Contemporary Examples of spending

Historical Examples of spending

  • He had, therefore, merely gone to the city, and was spending his time in the taverns.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • I have no idea of spending another thousand years as I spent the last.

    The Three Golden Apples

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "My friend, who is spending a few weeks with me," explained the Doctor.

  • He drove over to see her while she was spending a few days with an aunt in Sudleigh.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Eagerly I worked at the laboratory, spending most of my evenings in study.

British Dictionary definitions for spending


verb spends, spending or spent

to pay out (money, wealth, etc)
(tr) to concentrate (time, effort, thought, etc) upon an object, activity, etc
(tr) to pass (time) in a specific way, activity, place, etc
(tr) to use up completelythe hurricane spent its force
(tr) to give up (one's blood, life, etc) in a cause
(intr) obsolete to be used up or exhausted
spend a penny British informal to urinate


an amount of money spent, esp regularly, or allocated to be spent
See also spends
Derived Formsspendable, adjective

Word Origin for spend

Old English spendan, from Latin expendere; influenced also by Old French despendre to spend, from Latin dispendere; see expend, dispense
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for spending



"to pay out or away" (money or wealth), Old English -spendan (in forspendan "use up"), from Latin expendere "to weigh out money, pay down" (see expend). A general Germanic borrowing (cf. Old High German spendon, German and Middle Dutch spenden, Old Norse spenna). In reference to labor, thoughts, time, etc., attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with spending


see pocket (spending) money.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.