bill1 /bɪl/


I. noun

1. a printed or written statement of the money owed for goods or services

the bill for their meal came to £17.
2. a draft of a proposed law presented to parliament for discussion

a debate over the civil rights bill.
3. a programme of entertainment at a theatre or cinema

she was top of the bill at America’s leading vaudeville house.
(N. Amer.) a banknote

a ten-dollar bill.
5. a poster or handbill.

[as modifier]

he has been hard at work bill posting in a poster and sticker campaign.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. list (a person or event) in a programme

they were billed to appear but did not show up.
2. ( bill someone/thing as) describe or advertise someone or something in a particular way

he was billed as ‘the new Sean Connery’.
3. send a bill to (someone)

we shall be billing them for the damage caused
[with two objs]
he had been billed £3,000 for his licence.
4. charge (a sum of money)

we billed £400,000.
III. phrases

fit (or fill) the bill
be suitable for a particular purpose.
IV. derivatives


– origin Middle English (denoting a written list or catalogue): from Anglo-Norman French bille, probably based on medieval Latin bulla ‘seal, sealed document’ (see also bull2).

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