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 billable adjective
– 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).