Sense: 1-7, 9
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Medieval Latin
Origin: billa, from Latin bulla 'bubble, seal added to a document'; BOIL1
Sense: 8,10
Origin: Old English bile
Sense: 11
Date: 1300-1400
Origin: Old Bill


1 noun
Related topics: Media, Performing, Birds, Parliaments, Law
bill1 S1 W1 [countable]

request for payment

a written list showing how much you have to pay for services you have received, work that has been done etc
bill for
The bill for the repairs came to $650.


especially British English a list showing how much you have to pay for food you have eaten in a restaurant [= check American English]
Could we have the bill, please?


PGPSCL a written proposal for a new law, which is brought to a parliament so that it can be discussed
approve/pass/veto a bill
The House of Representatives passed a new gun-control bill.
The senator introduced a bill that would increase the minimum wage.


American English a piece of paper money [= note BrE; ↪ coin]:
a five-dollar bill

fit/fill the bill

to be exactly what you need:
This car fits the bill perfectly. It's cheap and gets good mileage.

concert/show etc

APAM a programme of entertainment at a theatre, concert, cinema etc, with details of who is performing, what is being shown etc:
Tricia topped the bill (=was the most important performer) at the Children's Variety Show.

give somebody/something a clean bill of health

to officially state that someone is in good health or that something is working correctly:
Maddox was given a clean bill of health.


HBB a bird's beak


a printed notice advertising an event

part of a hat

American English the front part that sticks out on a hat such as a baseball cap

the (old) bill

SCP British English spoken the police
WORD FOCUS: restaurant WORD FOCUS: restaurant
the person who serves you in a restaurant: waiter, waitress, server American English, waitperson American English

the person who cooks your food: chef

the person who welcomes the guests: maitre d', host/hostess American English

a list of the food: menu also bill of fare formal

a list of wines and alcoholic drinks: wine list also drink list American English

a piece of paper that shows the amount you have to pay for your meal: bill British English/check American English

extra money you leave for the waiter or waitress: tip/gratuity formal

money that the restaurant charges for service: service charge, cover charge, corkage

See also

Dictionary results for "bill"
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