Meaning of “bill” in the English Dictionary

"bill" in British English

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uk /bɪl/ us /bɪl/


A2 [ C or S ] a request for payment of money owed, or the piece of paper on which it is written:

They sent us a bill for the work they had done.
She ran up (= caused herself to have) a huge phone bill.
They asked the waitress for the bill.
Could we have the bill, please?
Her mother agreed to foot (= pay) the bill.

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bill noun (LAW)

[ C ] a formal statement of a planned new law that is discussed before being voted on:

The bill was amended (= changed).
When a bill is passed in Parliament it becomes law.
informal The bill was thrown out (= did not go past the first stage of discussion and will not become law).

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bill noun (SIGN)

[ C ] a paper sign giving information about something, especially an event or performance

be on the bill

to be performing in a show:

There were lots of big names (= famous people) on the bill.
head/top the bill

to be the most important actor in a show


uk /bɪl/ us /bɪl/

the Billnoun [ S, + sing/pl verb ]

uk /bɪl/ us /bɪl/ also the Old Bill UK slang

(Definition of “bill” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bill" in American English

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billnoun [ C ]

us /bɪl/

bill noun [ C ] (REQUEST FOR PAYMENT)

a list of expenses to be paid, or the total amount of costs or expenses:

We still have doctors’ bills to pay.

A bill is also a check .

bill noun [ C ] (MONEY)

a piece of paper money:

He pulled out a thick wad of bills and gave me $20.

bill noun [ C ] (LAW)

politics & government a formal statement of a planned new law that is discussed by a government or legislature before being voted on:

After a bill is passed by both houses of Congress, it becomes law when the president signs it.

bill noun [ C ] (BIRD)

the beak of a bird

billverb [ T ]

us /bɪl/

bill verb [ T ] (REQUEST PAYMENT)

to send someone a statement of what is owed:

Some places will bill you, but at others you have to pay right away.

(Definition of “bill” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"bill" in Business English

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billnoun [ C ]

uk /bɪl/ us

COMMERCE, FINANCE, ACCOUNTING a document showing how much money you owe for goods or services you have received:

bill for sth a bill for $10,000
big/huge/hefty, etc. bill (for sth) The company faces a hefty bill for repairs after the storm.
pay/settle a bill I don't have the money to pay this gas bill.
monthly/quarterly/weekly bill They can afford their monthly bills for basics such as food and housing but have little left for luxuries.
pay/pick up a bill The firm picked up the bill for him to be flown by executive jet to Edinburgh.
cut/reduce a bill We need to find ways of reducing our energy bills.
If you prefer you can request an itemized bill and get a list of every call you have made.
gas/phone/tax, etc. bill
foot the bill

to pay a bill:

Should the government foot the bill for all its citizens - or only the poorest among us?

UK US check COMMERCE a piece of paper given to you when you have finished eating at a restaurant, showing how much money you owe:

"Could we have the bill please?"
pick up the bill Don't worry. I'll pick up the bill.

GOVERNMENT, LAW a formal statement of a planned new law that is discussed before being voted on:

The bill became law in April.
amend/pass a bill They soon realized that they didn't have enough votes to pass the bill.

US MONEY →  banknote

→  bill of exchange

billverb [ T ]

uk /bɪl/ us

to send someone a bill telling them how much money they owe for goods or services that they have received:

bill sb for sth The law firm had billed its clients for more than 400 hours.

to describe sth as being sth:

bill sth as sth The new technology is being billed as "the email of the future".

(Definition of “bill” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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