Definition of defray in English:



  • Provide money to pay (a cost or expense)

    ‘the proceeds from the raffle help to defray the expenses of the evening’
    • ‘Organisers are asking organisations, businesses or indeed private individuals, for financial assistance to help defray costs.’
    • ‘Members were also reminded that a bring and buy sale would take place at the Federation meeting to help defray the cost of the bus to An Grianan.’
    • ‘Revenue generated was used to help defray costs of reagents and pay students' expenses for the state professional society meeting.’
    • ‘And some will also be entitled to a new one-off payment of $312 to help defray the costs of getting back into employment.’
    • ‘The money raised will benefit the school fund and help defray costs incurred by the free book scheme which the school operates each year.’
    • ‘Johannesburg is to issue a fourth municipal bond, with the funds raised being used to defray capital expenditure costs.’
    • ‘His money was going to his sister, to help defray school expenses.’
    • ‘I would also like to point out that cost effectiveness cannot be an argument against running these polling stations for a general election as the costs are defrayed by central government.’
    • ‘We were able to get some money from the Congress to help defray the costs in both New York and Boston.’
    • ‘You can even charge for each note to defray the cost of providing this service.’
    • ‘Several people have expressed an interest in providing financial support to assist him in defraying his expenses.’
    • ‘Many businesses were more than willing to donate money, door prizes and refreshments, which helped defray the costs of both rides.’
    • ‘This program provides low-income families with vouchers to defray the cost of renting private housing.’
    • ‘The money raised during this campaign will be used to defray costs associated with the running of the Trial Examinations in the school during second term.’
    • ‘To help defray the cost of this development the club recently launched a private members lottery syndicate over a 12-month period.’
    • ‘The money raised will help to defray the cost of the work being done on the club grounds in Rossena.’
    • ‘The side dishes are expensive at The Curry House, perhaps to defray the cost of the liberal use of spices.’
    • ‘The committee are hoping for a generous response which will help towards defraying the cost of refurbishment and rust treating of the surround railing and gates which is planned to be carried out in the near future.’
    • ‘Financing such a trip is expensive and the dancers have been busy taking part in fund-raising events over the past few months to help defray their expenses.’
    • ‘It will go towards defraying the cost of the insurance on the Hall.’
    cover, meet, square, settle, clear, discharge, liquidate
    foot the bill for
    pick up the check for, pick up the tab for
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the general sense spend money): from French défrayer, from dé- (expressing removal) + obsolete frai cost, expenses (from medieval Latin fredum a fine for breach of the peace).