When you use money or time, you spend it. If you spend a lot of time at the mall, you'll probably also spend money there.

The verb spend is good for talking about passing time on a particular activity or living in one place for a length of time: "He went on to spend years in India." When you spend money, you pay it in return for something, like when you spend five dollars on a bottle of water at the airport or spend your savings on a trip around the world. The Latin root expendere means "to weigh out money."

Definitions of spend

v pass time in a specific way

“how are you spending your summer vacation?”
show 11 types...
hide 11 types...
serve as a soldier in the military
spend time at a lower socio-economic level than one's own, motivated by curiosity or desire for adventure; usage considered condescending and insensitive
spend the weekend
holiday, vacation
spend or take a vacation
do, serve
spend time in prison or in a labor camp
get through, while away
spend or pass, as with boredom or in a pleasant manner; of time
spend a certain length of time; reside temporarily
overwinter, winter
spend the winter
spend the summer
serve as a means of entrance
spend a holiday after one's marriage

v pay out

spend money”
drop, expend
show 30 types...
hide 30 types...
consume, deplete, eat, eat up, exhaust, run through, use up, wipe out
use up (resources or materials)
consume, squander, ware, waste
spend extravagantly
be able to spare or give up
spend lavishly or wastefully on
trifle away, wanton, wanton away
spend wastefully
spend at less than the normal rate
spend (money or other resources) unwisely
nickel-and-dime, penny-pinch
spend money frugally; spend as little as possible
commit, invest, place, put
make an investment
economise, economize, save
spend sparingly, avoid the waste of
lay out
spend or invest
piddle, piddle away, trifle, wanton, wanton away
waste time; spend one's time idly or inefficiently
spend time badly or unwisely
run out
exhaust the supply of
deplete of resources
indulge, luxuriate
enjoy to excess
dissipate, fool, fool away, fritter, fritter away, frivol away, shoot
spend frivolously and unwisely
luxuriate, wanton
become extravagant; indulge (oneself) luxuriously
burn, burn off, burn up
use up (energy)
invest money in government securities
lavish, shower
expend profusely; also used with abstract nouns
spend at a high rate
tighten one's belt
live frugally and use less resources
fling, splurge
indulge oneself
roll over
re-invest (a previous investment) into a similar fund or security
invest (money) so that it is not taxable
tie up
invest so as to make unavailable for other purposes
job, speculate
invest at a risk
exhaust, play out, run down, sap, tire
buy into
buy stocks or shares of a company
Type of:
give money, usually in exchange for goods or services

v spend completely

“I spend my pocket money in two days”
spend more than available of (a budget)
spend less than the whole of (a budget, for example)
Type of:
consume, deplete, eat, eat up, exhaust, run through, use up, wipe out
use up (resources or materials)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.