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This page has 5 definitions of outlay in English. Outlay is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use outlay in a sentence are shown. Also define these 11 related words and terms: laying out, expending, spending, money, expenditure, remote, haunt, expose, display, spend, and distribute.



From out- +‎ lay.


  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈaʊtleɪ/
    • (file)
  • (verb) IPA(key): /aʊtˈleɪ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


outlay (countable and uncountable, plural outlays)

  1. A laying out or expending; that which is laid out or expended.
  2. The spending of money, or an expenditure.
    Without too much outlay, you could buy a second-hand car.
    • 1945 March and April, T. F. Cameron, “New Works Procedure”, in Railway Magazine, page 72:
      Regard must be had to the extent to which the original capital outlay has not been covered by the sum of the annual provisions for renewal, that is to say, in insurance terms, to the unexpired life of the original work, although this financial factor has to be modified in the light of the actual physical condition of the work to be replaced.
    • 2023 April 18, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea Champions League exit: Where do 'disjointed, broken' Blues go from here?”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Getting the right manager has just been made more difficult by not having Champions League to offer. There will also be a huge churn of players after the lavish, unrewarding outlay this season.
  3. (archaic) A remote haunt or habitation.
    • c. 1609, Francis Beaumont, Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding:
      I know her and her haunts, Her lays, leaps, and outlays, and will discover all.



outlay (third-person singular simple present outlays, present participle outlaying, simple past and past participle outlaid)

  1. (transitive) To lay or spread out; expose; display.
  2. (transitive) To spend, or distribute money.