Definition of ledger in English:



  • 1A book or other collection of financial accounts of a particular type.

    ‘the total balance of the purchases ledger’
    • ‘He says that a lot of other old artifacts like weights and measures and some bank ledgers were sent to the central museum in Calcutta.’
    • ‘Its design lets users establish as many distinct ledgers as are required, such as projects, expenses, accounts payable and accounts receivable.’
    • ‘Drawing on data, which includes the physical dimensions of the building, the house rules, and the ledgers of the workhouse, a realistic portrayal of inmates' daily experiences can be constructed and interpreted.’
    • ‘There are times when items will go directly to the general ledger without any subledger posting.’
    • ‘In respect of one option, he suggests that, on the tax side of the ledger, we could move towards a flatter tax structure.’
    • ‘Designed for double-entry bookkeeping, our software has full sales, purchase and nominal ledgers.’
    • ‘Under the four-leg bookkeeping method all transactions, both cash and non-cash, were recorded in the journals and posted to the ledgers using double-entry procedures.’
    • ‘After liberation he started a journey, working his way through the ledger and visiting every single man's family up and down the country, to confirm that their son or husband was dead and where, when and how it had happened.’
    • ‘If you want to have a look at these ledgers or the cash book hit one of the hotwords below.’
    • ‘What follows is a list of Early National and Antebellum ledgers and day books from the North American manuscript holdings in the Department of Special Collections, University Libraries of Notre Dame.’
    • ‘The official club ledgers could accurately be described as the DNA of Everton Football Club.’
    • ‘On all sides there's no lack of evidence - letters, diaries, minutes, double-entries in ledgers - but less of it was in Scots, and more in the ‘common tongue’.’
    • ‘Samuel Otis, the first Secretary of the Senate, began the ledger in 1791.’
    • ‘If double-entry accounting is the basis of a true accounting system, then the ledgers are the building blocks.’
    • ‘In 1427 Domenico matriculated into the Arte del Cambio, the same guild that had deleted Zanobi's name from its ledger decades earlier.’
    • ‘These two ledgers were scanned and the optimized images imported.’
    • ‘Batch transaction management ensures only balanced entries are posted to your ledger.’
    • ‘She held out the ledger and spoke in a voice deliberately pitched too low to be overheard.’
    • ‘Natural capital is a physical asset, like the roads or buildings listed on a city's ledger.’
    • ‘The years covered by each of the ledgers, as well as the condition of each ledger, is discussed below.’
    book, account book, record book, register, registry, log
    records, archives, books
    balance sheet, financial statement
    View synonyms
  • 2A flat stone slab covering a grave.

    • ‘Mullins' grave, covered by a large, brown granite ledger, is behind the headstone.’
    • ‘Photographs show her on her bier and her ledger stone carved with her name.’
    • ‘George VI's coffin lies beneath a black marble ledger stone, which has had the dates of the Queen Mother's birth and death added to it.’
  • 3A horizontal scaffolding pole, parallel to the face of a building.

    • ‘Once you have ascertained this, check once again to be sure the joists are still at right angles from the ledger and still level.’
    • ‘If we were discussing the attachment of a support ledger or shear bracing, the choice of screws could be consequential.’
    • ‘If the pole is very long, add a supporting pole bracket in the middle, attached to the ledger.’
    • ‘You are now ready to temporarily attach the ledger to the wall, mark the corresponding holes on the siding, remove the ledger, and drill the holes in the siding.’
    • ‘The top men did the scaffolding - with their poles and their ledgers.’
    • ‘To do this you need to make marks, called layout marks, on the ledger and girder that show where each joist will be located.’
    • ‘Deck panels were then set up and connected to the ledger.’
    • ‘The girder is in a position parallel to the ledger and supports the opposite end of the joists.’
    • ‘The ‘Z’ flashing prevents water migration between ledger and building.’
    • ‘Before you install the ledger you will need to decide whether to hang the joists from the ledger or rest them on top.’
    • ‘The studs were stained and new 2x2 horizontal wood ledgers were screwed to them.’
    • ‘The bottom of the ledger should be on the chalk line.’


Late Middle English legger, ligger (denoting a large bible or breviary), probably from variants of lay and lie, influenced by Dutch legger and ligger. Current senses date from the 16th century.