[countable, uncountable] outlay (on something) the money that you have to spend in order to start a new project The business quickly repaid the initial outlay on advertising. a massive financial/capital outlay Synonymscostsspending expenditure expenses overheads outlay These are all words for money spent by a government, an organization or a person.costs the total amount of money that needs to be spent by a business:labour/production costs rising costsspending the amount of money that is spent, especially by a government or an organization:public spending More spending on health was promised.expenditure (rather formal) an amount of money spent by a government, an organization or a person:expenditure on educationexpenses money that has to be spent by a person or an organization; money that you spend while you are working which your employer will pay back to you later:legal expenses travel expensesoverhead(s) the regular costs of running a business or an organization, such as rent, electricity and wages:High overheads mean small profit margins.outlay the money that you have to spend in order to start a new business or project, or in order to save yourself money or time later:The best equipment is costly but is well worth the outlay.Patterns spending/expenditure/outlay on something high/low costs/spending/expenditure/expenses/overheads total costs/spending/expenditure/expenses/overheads/outlay capital costs/spending/expenditure/expenses/outlay household costs/spending/expenditure/expenses government/public/education/health costs/spending/expenditure to increase/reduce costs/spending/expenditure/expenses/overheads/the outlayExtra examples The project would require little financial outlay. The railway had made a considerable capital outlay on new rolling stock. The revenue from the farm could repay the initial outlay within three years. The best equipment is costly but is well worth the outlay.