Main definitions of bill in English

: bill1bill2bill3

bill1

noun

  • 1A printed or written statement of the money owed for goods or services:

    ‘the bill for their meal came to £17’
    • ‘There were receipts, hospital bills and written statements attesting to court decisions in cases both filed by the protesters and brought against them.’
    • ‘In fact, I used to pay my bills, and even write some of the recipes for my cookbook with this desk.’
    • ‘When he sat at his desk, unless he happened to be paying the bills, writing the payroll, or ordering supplies, it usually meant he was getting a break.’
    • ‘He couldn't pay bills, check money coming into his account or make salary payment.’
    • ‘However, when they reached Goole the boat had already sailed, and they were brought back to Selby where, after running up a bill for storage for a few days they were sent on to Chatham by rail.’
    • ‘At the end of last term, after continually withdrawing money and paying bills, she noticed a significant drop in her bank account, but dismissed it as poor budgeting.’
    • ‘The groups say that money should go to the panel writing the spending bill for education and human services.’
    • ‘He's still got plenty of legal bills to write checks for from that last trial.’
    • ‘A stickler for detail, Goring actually reads the fine print on all her bills and credit cards statements to make sure she isn't being overcharged.’
    • ‘In March Phillips stayed at a Cirencester guest house, running up a bill of £266 before leaving without paying.’
    • ‘A ‘surveyor’ then calls who will identify damp as a problem and give a quote - often running up a bill of £1,500.’
    • ‘After June 2000, the Solicitor provided the services and delivered the bills on her own account as a sole practitioner.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the thieves had had a little spending spree at Comet, running up a bill of £1000 on my Amex.’
    • ‘You can now write checks, pay bills, invest, apply for a loan, buy or sell stock, send or receive money anywhere in the world, all electronically.’
    • ‘My mother has never paid a bill, written a cheque or drawn money from the bank in her life.’
    • ‘Shave money off your broadband bill while offering a public service to your neighbors.’
    • ‘I don't write checks for my bills before I get my paycheck, that's a pretty risky practice.’
    • ‘This can allow you to check your balance, view past transactions, pay bills and transfer money between accounts.’
    • ‘Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably pay bills and transfer money around the globe using the company's proprietary money transfer network.’
    • ‘Irish customers use their phones for an average of 198 minutes a month, running up a bill of €44.28.’
    invoice, account, statement, list of charges, tally
    View synonyms
  • 2A draft of a proposed law presented to parliament for discussion:

    ‘a debate over the civil rights bill’
    • ‘She said that they ‘pray that parliament accepts the draft bill in the spirit in which it is intended.’’
    • ‘Last week, a private members' bill was presented to Parliament calling for a ban on masts near classrooms and homes.’
    • ‘You have also talked about how Martin voted against 24 out of 27 private members' bills in Parliament.’
    • ‘Please note - this is a draft bill at present, so it is still in the public consultation stage.’
    • ‘Parliament has approved a bill, proposed by Mr. Chen, that permits referendums on critical issues.’
    • ‘Fairly good discussion on the Scottish Parliament's proposed Gaelic bill on today's Lesley Riddoch show.’
    • ‘The government has presented around 30 bills to the parliament, which it wants to pass rapidly during final two weeks of August.’
    • ‘Labor leader Kim Beazley initially opposed the private members' bills proposed by the backbench Liberals.’
    • ‘A discussion on a bill presented by a ‘cabinet minister’ would be put to vote after discussions.’
    • ‘Now there are rumblings of trying to rectify this unsatisfactory situation, with various bills proposed in parliament and seminars held on the matter.’
    • ‘The Minister's presenting the bill that he was proposing to put to Parliament.’
    • ‘Margo MacDonald presented her bill to the Parliament in this context.’
    • ‘Workers, who gathered in front of AKP buildings, wanted the draft bill withdrawn from parliament.’
    • ‘The compensation levels will become legally binding on all airlines in the EU once the European Parliament passes the bill.’
    • ‘The two bills presently before parliament contain very similar measures.’
    • ‘The central bank is drafting a bill to be presented in Parliament during the budget session, which will seek to put a cap on government guarantees and public debt.’
    • ‘Their counterparts in Denmark are presently preparing a bill for the Danish parliament on euro membership.’
    • ‘I guess we can tell that we are at the dog-end when the best the Government can do is present to Parliament bills of this nature for consideration.’
    • ‘I hope that everyone who contributed to the consultation will see their hand in the bill presented to parliament this week.’
    • ‘Within a few weeks a draft bill was presented to parliament; it had two clauses later to become sections 1 and 2 of the Act of 1916.’
    draft law, proposed legislation, proposal, measure
    View synonyms
  • 3A programme of entertainment at a theatre or cinema:

    ‘she was top of the bill at America's leading vaudeville house’
    • ‘Also on the bill are theatre productions, art exhibitions and arts and culture workshops.’
    • ‘On the bill are two very different but artistically compatible plays to be performed in repertory and an American classic that hasn't been staged in Kansas City in decades.’
    • ‘The concert will feature a host of local entertainers and top of the bill will be the widely acclaimed Clare singer Larry Mc Evoy.’
    • ‘Berry wasn't top of the bill, and I remember his thoughts on that issue reverberated throughout the evening.’
    • ‘The 2004 line-up looks even more impressive and top of the bill are two very talented singer-songwriters.’
    • ‘Top of the bill of course were kd lang and Tony Bennett.’
    • ‘In the unusually smelly dressing room, there were some photocopies of some old bills from the theatre from Georgian times.’
    • ‘John Power, Antonio Forcione and Jason Lockett complete the bill in the Globe Theatre.’
    • ‘Bernard was top of the bill at a fun day at The Rising Sun in Burnage, to raise funds for the £5m Francis House appeal.’
    • ‘Now a fantastic bill of entertainment has been unveiled for the Celebration Ball.’
    • ‘It can put you top of the bill at the theatre, if it wasn't for Boycie I wouldn't be doing that.’
    • ‘Anna admitted that, physically, she looks nothing like the star who remained top of the bill for 60 years.’
    • ‘Antoine quickly secured four one-act plays for the evening's bill.’
    • ‘Top of the bill is a recital at 3pm in the Sensory Gardens by the Army Band conducted by Captain Mark Armstrong.’
    • ‘This, the only native play on the bill, proved easily the most interesting, and was the best acted.’
    • ‘Battle of the bands winners Desid will be top of the bill at the ninth annual rock concert at George Ward School, Melksham tonight.’
    • ‘Top of the bill are mobile technology and e-commerce, with speakers from Cisco, Nokia, Ericcson as well as home-grown talent.’
    • ‘On Saturday night at a big show in Castlebar Thomas Moran boxed the home club's John Waldron on the top of the bill and it was the Westport man who came out on top.’
    • ‘James Loynes, a rising singing star from Chorley, was top of the bill.’
    • ‘Top of the bill is Canny, Pembrokeshire's human beat-boxer.’
    listing, list, line-up
    View synonyms
  • 4North American A banknote:

    ‘a ten-dollar bill’
    • ‘Ronald pulls out his wallet and peels off a ten-dollar bill, giving it to the younger man along with his ticket.’
    • ‘A scarf and a ten-dollar bill, to be put in my savings account.’
    • ‘At the door into the airport, Abbey stopped to slip the kind flight attendant two crisp ten-dollar bills.’
    • ‘She quickly withdrew money from her backpack, folding two ten dollar bills into her pocket.’
    • ‘They also chose to pull all existing dollar bills and pound notes from circulation to force their people to use the coins.’
    • ‘She dug into the pockets of her dirty tan coat and withdrew a ten-dollar bill.’
    • ‘I held out a hand jokingly but to my surprise he actually gave the ten-dollar bill to me.’
    • ‘No, I'll say I found a ten-dollar bill on the street last week, because that's also true.’
    • ‘Suddenly providence tugged at H.E. Crumpled up on the curb lay a ten-dollar bill.’
    • ‘Michael pulled out two twenty's and a ten-dollar bill and placed it in front of Tom.’
    • ‘Damry slipped the clerk a ten-dollar bill and thanked him, then smiled at her friend.’
    • ‘Travis smiles and then puts a ten-dollar bill on the table.’
    • ‘Clara led the boy to his parents and gave them a ten-dollar bill.’
    • ‘Then he and Cath both slapped a ten-dollar bill on the table and headed out the door.’
    • ‘She opened the wallet and took out a twenty-dollar bill and three ten-dollar bills.’
    • ‘Every one of them had at least five dollars in them, except three, which had ten dollar bills folded in the cards.’
    • ‘He pulled out the money his father had given him to pay for the mare, and peeled off a ten-dollar bill.’
    • ‘He walks up to one of the machines, inserts a ten-dollar bill in the appropriate slot and presses some green illuminated number pad.’
    • ‘Gordon dug in a leather wallet and procured nineteen ten-dollar bills.’
    • ‘He had laid the mail on the table already, bills and bank notes separated from his own personal correspondence.’
    banknote, note
    View synonyms
  • 5A poster or handbill:

    [as modifier] ‘he has been hard at work bill posting in a poster and sticker campaign’
    • ‘No controls existed, and as a result adverts and theatre bills were plastered on every available space - hoardings, end walls of buildings, fences.’
    • ‘Old Drury Lane has called me in, with jealousy to cover 'em, And sent me round with their own bills, to go and plaster over 'em.’
    • ‘Del Toro's wood-plank facade is now scuffed and plastered with concert bills, no sign or door in sight.’
    • ‘Well, first we did some illegal bill postering and then we stole some milk crates.’
    • ‘Traffic signboards are blatantly misused for sticking posters and bills.’
    • ‘Stop and think about that the next time you see one of those forbidding “Post No Bills” warnings stenciled on fences and construction sites or on any other vacant canvas in New York that isn’t already covered by posters.’
    poster, advertisement, public notice, announcement
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1List (a person or event) in a programme:

    ‘they were billed to appear but did not show up’
    • ‘He is also billed to speak at a fundraising dinner in Toronto during the same trip; the Canadian government has placed no restrictions in his path.’
    • ‘There has not been too much news from the Killoran Clan gatherings of late, but all that has now changed as another re-union is billed for October of this year.’
    • ‘Cinema programmes, sports meetings, and dances; all are billed here and none appears with more consistent regularity than that saviour of so many club bank deficits - the whist drive.’
    • ‘The occasion is billed to be unique, the mood motivational and the message, a powerful assertion of the value of self - belief.’
    • ‘He is billed for a performance at Club Amaruzu in Queens, New York on October 24 alongside veteran reggae crooner Coco Tea and dancehall star Capleton.’
    • ‘‘It happened to Vuyani Bungu when he was billed in the same tournament with Hamed and then ultimately fought him,’ he said.’
    • ‘Mungo Jerry were also billed to play but, sadly, decided not to.’
    • ‘The result - when the allure of the biggie DJ wears thin, as it has recently, there's nothing to fill the gaps between the next highly billed event.’
    • ‘Navin Samarasinghe also entered the final of the men's open event where he is billed to do battle with the hardened Janaka Suwaris.’
    • ‘He has put in every effort to ensure that the event billed the ‘Dame Mary Peters Weekend’ is a resounding success.’
    • ‘As I predicted, although the concert was billed to start at 7.45 it didn't start until after 8.’
    • ‘Out of the nine events which were billed for the last day, India picked up four titles and were followed by Sri Lanka and Pakistan who took three and two titles, respectively.’
    • ‘The Baggies' boss, who billed the duel with Wanderers as the biggest game of his Premiership career, frowned at the loss of two vital survival points.’
    • ‘Sight seeing and daily meetings are billed, with a Grand Black Tie event on the final night.’
    • ‘According to the team manager Arjun Dharmadasa, the Lankan team is billed to play Japan on Dec.18.’
    • ‘If he had known the secret all along, he never would have spent the 1990s performing in American restaurants where he was billed below the BBQ ribs.’
    • ‘The third billed artist, Jonny Regan, did not have a lot to do and I wondered why he had been given such prominence, in view of the fact that there were others in the cast who, if not given top billing, should at least have been featured.’
    • ‘Further spice is added with the event being billed in some quarters as a battle royal between Manchester and Merseyside.’
    • ‘He was billed after star Dana Andrews, leading lady Linda Darnell and second male lead Sterling Hayden.’
    advertise, promote, announce, post, give advance notice of, put up in lights
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1bill someone/thing as Describe or advertise someone or something in a particular way:
      ‘he was billed as ‘the new Sean Connery’’
      • ‘They are billing the clash as a unique partnership between the rugby clubs, aiming to create an exciting and dynamic future for rugby league in the Bay.’
      • ‘Dr Andrew Walker, a senior lecturer in health economics at Glasgow University, said: ‘It is very hard to see this as being the step change that it was billed as.’’
      • ‘Drudge bills this story as a denial, but it isn't quite.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, completing the billing for the day are Doves, whose latest album ‘The Last Broadcast’ was number one in the UK for three weeks.’
      • ‘But a spokeswoman for DDF said although they had billed their product as being similar to Botox treatment, it did not contain any potentially harmful chemicals.’
      • ‘Shapiro bills the series as an unglamorous look at life in the clink and the power of music as a means of rehabilitation.’
      • ‘The sign outside bills Blue Mountain as a ‘Jamaican and Canadian food’ restaurant, using the curious terminology more frequently associated with ‘Chinese and Canadian’ joints.’
      • ‘Well the Government is billing the budget as further proof of its commitment to Australia's national security.’
      • ‘Organisers are billing this event as a BIlingual festival and a Celtic celebration.’
      • ‘In 1870 the birds were billed as ‘doomed to certain extinction ‘and by 1977 they seemed technically extinct.’’
      • ‘On their website, they're running ads and billing them as ‘news’.’
      • ‘This is a cunning move that works in its favour, as by billing the movie as a straight kidnap cum psychological thriller, Gaylene Preston is able to brilliantly subvert audience expectations.’
      • ‘Even the advertising campaign on television is billing the tie as a massacre, happily chirruping: ‘If you thought the cricket was bad…‘’
      • ‘Now the actual work is billed as ‘Fa'afafine ’, so there will be people coming to this show expecting to learn more about fa'afine.’
      • ‘The foundation bills the report as a ‘wake-up call for all Canadians, especially those living outside major urban centres, to take a look at their communities and their lifestyles.’’
      • ‘They billed their approach as a bold use of the legislation, saying it was a response to persistent harassment of residents by travellers.’
      • ‘The society bills its guide as a ‘must-read for all armchair supporters’ and claims that even the most over-enthusiastic spectator should not need to be stretchered off mid-match.’
      • ‘Effectively billing her book as an anti-Lonely Planet, Appelbe has gathered and archived the secret things that make Vancouver unique.’
      • ‘Dave's business card bills him as ‘the original jester… bluer than blue’.’
      • ‘The attorney general bills this measure as a necessary tactic in the war against terrorism, but it is unlikely to prevent a future terrorist attack or snare any key members of terrorist groups intent upon doing damage to this country.’
      • ‘The introduction bills the book as an effort to ‘set the record straight,’ but it is actually an attempt to push the record far to the right.’
      describe as, call, style, label, dub, designate, pronounce
      advertise, promote, announce, post, give advance notice of, put up in lights
      View synonyms
  • 2Send a bill to (someone):

    ‘we shall be billing them for the damage caused’
    [with two objects] ‘he had been billed £3,000 for his licence’
    • ‘British gas have just billed me out of the blue for over £190 worth of Electricity for the past 2 years!’
    • ‘Like the doctor who can give you medicine while you're in a coma… and bill you for it!’
    • ‘Cars can now be equipped with electronic devices that emit signals relayed to highway monitors, and car owners are billed for their highway usage.’
    • ‘He suggested billing clients via e-mail, rather than by regular mail as his department was doing at the time.’
    • ‘It is important to check the meter number to ensure the new supplier is billing you for the correct meter.’
    • ‘His troops are trying to convert customers to a pay-as-you-go utility model where IBM turns on the processing power and customers are billed based on how much they use.’
    • ‘Cell phone records show that he was talking at the time of the accident, and time records reflect that he was billing a client for the time he was talking.’
    • ‘There's nothing more important than accuracy when it comes to billing patients and insurers for psychological services, say ethics experts.’
    • ‘If your client rents inventory space, find out how the client is billed for inventory storage.’
    • ‘Costs and profits are estimated over the life of the deal, and as work is completed the customer is billed on a monthly or quarterly basis.’
    • ‘The doctor will retain the sort of freedom to choose how they bill, and there'll be a reward for them for bulk billing pensioners and card holders, there's no doubt about that.’
    • ‘We work with a young group of engineers who weren't billing us on a regular basis.’
    • ‘In the past 12 months, have you talked to any of the following to see if you could pay a lower price than they billed you, or wanted to bill you?’
    • ‘Lawson Whyte calculate costs on a percentage of the client budget for larger products, while for smaller works the client is either billed by the hour or a lump sum is agreed in advance.’
    • ‘Here's how: Let's say you are billed on the first of the month and your payment is due on the 25th.’
    • ‘Otherwise, you'll have to e-mail the images to yourself, and the wireless carriers will bill you.’
    • ‘Shivute attributed this to the fact that some councils buy water at a high tariff and then bill their customers at a lower rate, which he said creates a discrepancy.’
    • ‘A strategic zapper logs a driver's car every time he passes a certain point and he is billed every month accordingly.’
    • ‘Is Joe Customer being billed for the service or product that he receives?’
    • ‘US agencies bill models for expenses, while Irish agencies bill the clients.’
    send an invoice to, invoice, charge, debit, send a statement to
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Charge (a sum of money):
      ‘we billed £400,000’
      • ‘The catch is that any other usage will be billed at whatever tariffs the relevant hotspot owner charges, so no gratis web surfing or emailing, we're afraid.’
      • ‘He believes that billed revenue this year will be four times last year's figure.’
      • ‘If you accept credit card payments, bill the buyer's credit card account only when you're ready to ship the product.’
      • ‘This can make physicians in small practices loathe to take on deaf patients, as they may lose money once they have billed insurance and paid for an interpreter.’
      • ‘User-pays charges will be billed separately by councils and, of course, will continue to include GST.’
      • ‘His firm charged $735, 398 for the work, billing Taylor's time at $400 an hour.’
      • ‘Last year it settled charges that it illegally billed excessive fees and violated consumer protection regulations.’
      • ‘Taylor, of Upper Baggot St, Dublin was billed €12,600 for ‘an annual creative fee’.’
      • ‘Cllr Michelle Mulherin said she knew some people levied with commercial water charges who felt they were unfairly billed.’
      • ‘Students who don't pay their fees by the end of January will be billed a two per cent interest charge every month until they pay their tuition.’
      • ‘I hadn't given anyone my number in this town, except the usual people who bill my living expenses.’
      • ‘But Ms Probert said there were two sides to the story and she had also heard that PCTs had been unable to release the money because they had not been properly billed.’
      send an invoice to, invoice, charge, debit, send a statement to
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • fit (or fill) the bill

    • Be suitable for a particular purpose.

      • ‘Organisers were seeking three Prince's Trust-supported businesses to attend the festival alongside national newspapers and picture agencies, and Finesse Imaging fitted the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘He said Hindus had been looking for a temple site for more than 20 years and a spot on the town's main business and administrative artery road fitted the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘You will be needing something filling by now and this savoury drink fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘Mauritius fitted the bill perfectly then - and it still does.’
      • ‘My carrot, honey and ginger soup fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘Not entirely without surprise, serendipity had its way with me and I stumbled on one of my much-loved poems, by Henry Reed, that fitted the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘This time I wanted someone a little bit stronger and Darren fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘If horse soldiers in action is your scene, this series fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘Those with an interest in hill walking will fit the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘The show never fails to entertain, and the small restaurant/bar perfectly fits the bill for the eclectic mix of musicians that take the stage.’
      • ‘Cecil reportedly sees her more of an Oaks-type and tomorrow's race, over nine furlongs, should fit the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘To complement a green wall colour, why not try a bottle glass gloss style or for a modern look steel or slate style worktops will fit the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘With only 10 rooms and a cosy bar, with a roaring fire in winter, it fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘For him the job fitted the bill perfectly after he was forced to retire from the fire service’
      • ‘As a free agent, I had some criteria to meet and this team fitted the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘This time, he chose another Detroit band named Blanche who fitted the bill perfectly with their pleasant country pop-rock.’
      • ‘They, or in fact we, are the sorts of people who feel the need to do something compulsively, and blogging fits the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘Mavers fits the bill perfectly: acclaimed as a musical genius, he has not released a record in over a decade.’
      • ‘The Orchardton Woods site - sold last year by Scottish Enterprise to construction group Taylor Woodrow - fitted the bill perfectly.’
      • ‘Sinead Costello fitted the bill perfectly and kindly agreed to accompany me.’

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 bull).

Pronunciation:

bill

/bɪl/

Main definitions of bill in English

: bill1bill2bill3

bill2

noun

  • 1The beak of a bird, especially when it is slender, flattened, or weak, or belongs to a web-footed bird or a bird of the pigeon family.

    • ‘Like wrens, these birds are insectivorous soft bills, and seeds can seriously damage their beaks and digestive systems.’
    • ‘The bird has decurved slender black bill and short wings.’
    • ‘The upper mandible of the bill is dark and the lower is yellow.’
    • ‘They often carry their prey in their bill, unlike other birds of prey that carry their prey in their talons.’
    • ‘The American Coot is a medium-sized bird with a white bill, yellow legs, and lobed toes.’
    • ‘Birds with bills like that shouldn't be shy and the nutcracker is anything but.’
    • ‘When the forest floor is blanketed in snow, the birds use their powerful bills to dig out ant nests from tree trunks and tree bases.’
    • ‘Orange-crowned Warblers are very small warblers with slender bills, broken eye-rings, and partial eye-lines.’
    • ‘The eyes are situated beside the bill giving the birds binocular vision.’
    • ‘He sat up in a sapling, throwing back his head, opening wide his slender bill, and singing his rising, buzzy song.’
    • ‘But the bird has only her bill to manipulate this awkward baton, which rotates first one way, then the other as she tries to make it fit.’
    • ‘In the case of birds, a larger bill, for example, may enable some individuals to take advantage of particular seeds.’
    • ‘The finding indicates that the skull had an external covering, most likely of hard keratin, similar to the bills of modern birds.’
    • ‘The downward-curving bill of the bird, the small head, and the swollen knees are all accurate depictions of a wader.’
    • ‘Actually, I've been planning a whole column devoted just to birds' bills and their feet, so I won't say much about them here.’
    • ‘A Black-throated Green Warbler dropped into view, a tiny green caterpillar grasped in the vise of his slender bill.’
    • ‘The bills of young birds are not crossed at hatching, but cross as they grow.’
    • ‘These tall thin birds have long necks, bills, and legs and a very wide wingspan.’
    • ‘Females, which probed crevices for insects, had long, slender, curved bills.’
    • ‘The youngest ate a small red fruit that a golden bird carried in its bill.’
    1. 1.1 The muzzle of a platypus.
      • ‘They include the extraordinary bill of the platypus, an egg-laying semiaquatic mammal from Australia.’
      • ‘The platypus is considered a primitive mammal, yet its bill appears to be highly advanced.’
      • ‘The bill of a platypus is soft, flexible, and leathery, unlike a bird's beak.’
      • ‘The platypus uses its electro-sensitive bill to locate its food in the water.’
      • ‘They have a muzzle shaped like the bill of a duck, webbed feet, and a tail like that of a beaver.’
    2. 1.2North American The peak of a cap.
      • ‘His grip was light as silk and solid as iron, and he looked up for the first time, the billed cap no longer concealing the too-handsome face with its amused, chilling smile.’
      • ‘The wide variety of styles from a thin headband to a billed cap allows you to use what suits your style.’
      • ‘When your team is behind late in the game, ball players turn their hats inside out and balance a baseball on the inverted bill of the cap.’
      • ‘Reversible hat features velcro adjustable strap, shapeable bill and logos on all sides.’
      • ‘The “Chicago Cap” was the same shape as the “Parti-Colored Cap,” but featured horizontal (rather than vertical) stripes and a solid-colored bill.’
      • ‘Side A has team logo embroidery on front and Nike Swoosh embroidery on bill while side B has team logo and Nike Swoosh on front.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact my bill needed to always be curved just right and the front of the cap needed just a little dip on top behind the pretty scarlet "H".’
  • 2The point of an anchor fluke.

    • ‘Each of the plurality of flukes may be provided with an inwardly sloped bill segment at a distal end of the fluke.’
    • ‘The shank is hinged at the center of the crown, centerpiece, which has two pointed bills, designed to withstand great tension.’
    • ‘The flukes will be buried into the seabed. The very tip of a fluke is sometimes called the bill.’
    • ‘This due to the bill that sits deep in the seabed, making the anchor rotate around this.’
    • ‘Single bill patterns are effective in penetrating weed and other sea bed vegetation.’
  • 3[in place names] A narrow promontory:

    ‘Portland Bill’
    • ‘The Portland Race is caused by the meeting of the tides between the Bill and the Shambles sandbank about 3 miles SE.’
    • ‘Sitting almost on Portland Bill Branscombe Lodge Cottage is peacefully situated up a quiet track and offers spectacular views from the lighthouse tower.’
    • ‘The lighthouse at Portland Bill, a famous landmark on the promontory for mariners, stands 135 feet high and was built around 1903’
    • ‘For nearly 300 years a lighthouse has stood on Portland Bill to guide vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth and acting as a waymark for vessels navigating in the English Channel.’
    • ‘Gay Head, a promontory in Vinyard Sound, MA, U.S. and Portland Bill, a promontory in English Channel appear to support the results of this study.’
    promontory, headland, point, head, foreland, cape, peninsula, bluff, ness, naze, horn, spit, tongue
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of birds, especially doves) stroke bill with bill during courtship.

    • ‘Milou and Squawk, two young males, are also beginning to exhibit courtship behavior, hanging out with each other, billing and bowing.’
    • ‘Two birds, perfectly white, pink-beaked, dark-eyed, pigeons, settled on the ledge outside my window, billing and cooing as birds will in spring.’
    • ‘And to photograph the dovecote full of multicolored pigeons, all billing, cooing, and scuffling.’
    • ‘The soft billing, cooing, and sometimes raucous quarreling can be heard..’
    • ‘Reaching into the past, it must recall words that will fire up the cell cycle and motivate the dormant; billing and cooing, it must recruit and educate the immature.’
    • ‘Here the pairs rub bills and coo to each other before mating and going ashore to lay the eggs.’

Origin

Old English bile, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

bill

/bɪl/

Main definitions of bill in English

: bill1bill2bill3

bill3

noun

  • A medieval weapon like a halberd with a hook instead of a blade.

    • ‘Bill hook for layering hedges or splitting withies for hurdles.’
    • ‘The trees in his orchard were hacked with a bill hook.’
    • ‘An iron Bill hook (90 mm length). It would have been used for cutting plants.’
    • ‘Horse armor was developed to counteract injuries inflicted by such weapons as the bill.’
    • ‘I've used a bill-hook and you don't cut tree branches with it and no self-respecting shepherd would attempt to wrench branches from trees with his crook - it would not succeed and he would become a laughing stock.’

Origin

Old English bil, of West Germanic origin; related to German Bille axe.

Pronunciation:

bill

/bɪl/

Main definitions of bill in English

: bill1bill2bill3

Bill

noun

the Bill" or "the Old Bill
British
informal
  • [treated as singular or plural] The police.

    • ‘Then, one day, 'the Old Bill come and hammered hardboard over the entrances.'’
    • ‘I couldn't hear that much outside but I think its more likely people driving past and dog walkers who often call the old bill and complain.’
    • ‘The police were named the Old Bill after the act of parliament that empowered them.’
    • ‘So once again, it was the poor “Old Bill” that got it in the neck, rather than the CPS – which was at least an equal partner in the process.’
    • ‘Shop workers swap tills for the old Bill to stop thieves.’

Origin

1960s: pet form of the given name William.

Pronunciation:

Bill

/bɪl/