Money vocabulary

Here are some English words you can use when talking about money. We list the word, part of speech, definition, and an example sentence.

money (noun): Any means of exchange (typically coins and banknotes) that is accepted by people for the payment of goods and services, or for the repayment of loans. – They are collecting money to buy a gift for their teacher. | I hope my salary comes soon – there’s no money in my bank account.

afford (verb): Have enough money to do or pay for something. – I can’t afford to buy a new phone.

bank (noun): An institution that deals with money and provides its customers with financial services. – I went to the bank to deposit some money in my bank account.

bank account (noun): A place at a bank for you to manage your money, deposit and withdraw funds, and make payments and transfers etc. – I don’t have a lot of money in my bank account.

banknote (noun): A piece of paper money, usually issued by a central bank. Also note. – Thieves robbed the Post Office and got away with over $1 million in banknotes.

bankrupt (adjective): When a person has been legally declared unable to pay back money that they owe. – Richard was declared bankrupt after his business failed.

bill (noun): A written request for money that you owe. Less formal than invoiceThe bill for the meal came to $25.

borrow (verb): Accept money from a person or bank after agreeing to pay it back later. Opposite lend I borrowed £20 from my sister and repaid it the next day.

bribe (verb): Give money to another person to persuade them to do something in your favour, usually illegally or unethically. – Governments often bribe the public to vote for them by lowering tax rates just before an election.

broke (adjective – slang): Having no money available. – I can’t afford to go out tonight because I’m completely broke.

buy (verb): pay money for (something). Less formal than purchase. Opposite sell. – When she got her first job she went straight out and bought a second-hand car.

cash (noun): Money in the form of coins and notes. – Can I pay by credit card? I don’t have any cash on me.

central bank (noun): A national bank that serves as the bank for a country’s government and commercial banking system. – Most central banks are supposed to act as the lender of last resort.

change 1 (noun): Money returned to someone as the balance of a transaction. – I gave the taxi-driver a £20 note and he gave me change of £2.75 in coins.

change 2 (noun): Loose coins in your purse. – My wallet is heavy because it is full of change.

charge (verb): Demand money as a price for goods or services received. – The mechanic charged me £50 for fixing my car.

cheap 1 (adjective): Costing very little money. – The food in the cafe is quite cheap, so I go there often.

cheap 2 (adjective): (of a person) Unwilling to spend money. – John was too cheap to buy his wife a birthday present.

chequeUK checkUS (noun): A printed form that you can write on and use as payment instead of money. – I paid my electricity bill by cheque.

chip in (verb): Contribute towards something such as a gift. – We all chipped in to buy Barbara a birthday present.

coin (noun): A flat round piece of metal that is used as money. – My wallet is full of small coins.

credit (noun): An amount of money that is available to you through your bank account, which may be your own money or in the form of loans. – He always keeps his account in credit and never has an overdraft.

credit card (noun): A plastic card issued by a bank which you can use to pay for goods and services on credit. See debit card. – I pay for most things by credit card these days.

currency (noun): A system of money that is used in a particular country. – The Russian currency is the rouble.

debit card (noun): A plastic card that allows you to pay for goods and services direct from your bank account. See credit card. – I paid for the meal with my debit card.

debt (noun): Money that is owed to another person or business. – I will continue working extra hours until I have paid off all my debts.

deposit (verb): Put money into a bank account. – As soon as I get paid, I deposit the money in my bank account.

donate (verb): Give money to someone or something such as a charity. – The generous man donated most of his money to a local hospital.

donation (noun): A gift of money that is made to a good cause. – The hospital staff were grateful for the generous donation.

earn (noun): Obtain money by working. – Anton earns a lot of money as a lawyer.

fee (noun): Payment made to an institution in exchange for services. – I paid my daughter’s school fees last week.

fine (noun): Money that a person has to pay as a punishment for breaking the law. – John had to pay a fine for parking illegally.

income (noun): Money coming in. Money that a person makes from working and investments etc in a given time. – Tom’s annual income is over £80,000. 

inherit (verb): Receive money or property after somebody dies. – Peter inherited quite a bit of money when his aunt died.

inheritance (noun): Money that is received after someone has died. – Tim’s substantial inheritance enabled him to buy a new house.

interest (noun): Money that you pay regularly for the use of money that has been lent to you. – I pay 15% interest each year on my loan.

invest (verb): Use money to make money by putting it into something (for example, a company) in the hope of obtaining more money than you originally put in. – I invested £20,000 in a promising new company.

invoice (noun): A list of goods and services provided, with prices charged and total amount due to be paid. More formal than bill. – The company was unable to pay all the invoices it received and went bankrupt.

lend (verb): Give money to someone on the condition that they pay you back. Opposite borrow. – Jan lent me £50 last week and I plan to give it back at the end of the month.

loan (noun): Money that a person borrows that is expected to be paid back with interest. – I took out a loan to buy a new car.

mortgage (noun): Money that you borrow from a bank to buy a house. – Nick took out a mortgage to buy a new flat.

note (noun): Printed paper that is used as money. Also banknote. – I took a £20 note out of my wallet.

overdraft (noun): An arrangement with a bank that allows a customer to borrow money to pay bills and make purchases through their bank account when there is no money left in it. – Although I had no money, my overdraft enabled me to pay my water bill.

owe (verb): Have the obligation to pay someone back money or other things that you have borrowed from them. – I owe Henry £30.

pay (verb): Give money to someone for goods or services. – Can you pay for my ticket? I’m out of money.

payment 1 (noun): The process of paying someone. – We accept payment by cash or credit card.

payment 2 (noun): An amount paid or payable. – I received $100 as the final payment.

penniless (adjective): (of a person) Having no money. – If you keep spending money like that, we’ll soon be penniless.

piggybank (noun): A box for saving money in that is shaped like a toy pig. – The child’s piggybank was full of coins.

pocket money (noun): A small sum of money given to children by parents, usually on a regular basis. – Fred receives his pocket money every Friday.

poor (adjective): (of a person) Having little money. Opposite rich. – When he was a child his family was poor and they couldn’t afford a television or phone.

price (noun): An amount of money that is expected as payment for something. – The price of oil has risen recently. | I forgot to check the price of birthday cakes but it shouldn’t be over $15.

pricey, pricy (adjective): Expensive. – I never shop there. It’s far too pricey.

purchase (noun): Something that you have bought. – After paying the cashier, I left the shop with my purchase.

purchase (verb): Pay money for something. More formal than buy. – Notice: You will need to show your passport when purchasing tax-free items at the airport.

receipt (noun): A piece of paper that you receive from a seller as proof that you have paid for your purchases. – After I paid for the apples, the cashier gave me my receipt.

refund (noun): A repayment of money used to buy something. – I took the damaged phone back to the shop and was given a refund.

rich (adjective): (of a person) Having a lot of money. Opposite poor. – Most of the people who live around here are quite rich and have two or three cars.

salary (noun): A regular, fixed payment (typically monthly) paid by an employer to an employee for work done. See wage. – My boss pays me my salary on the last day of each month.

sale 1 (noun): The act of selling something. – The sale of our house enabled us to purchase another property.

sale 2 (noun): When  items are sold at a reduced price. – The shop is having a sale. Everything is 20% off.

save (verb): Put aside money for future use. – It’s hard to save money when your salary is as low as mine.

savings (noun): Money that you have saved over time. – I used some of my savings to buy a new laptop.

sell (verb): Give something to another person in exchange for money. Opposite buy. – Luke says he’ll sell me his car for just £3,000.

spend (verb): Pay out money when paying for goods or services. – I spent £30 on a pair of shoes yesterday.

tax (noun): Money that you may be obliged to pay to the government based on your income. – People who earn a lot of money usually have to pay high taxes.

transaction (noun): A completed act between a buyer and a seller. – After the seller had received his money, the transaction was complete.

transfer (verb): Move money from one bank account to another place or account. – I transferred money into my son’s bank account.

wage, wages (noun): A sum of money that is paid to an employee (typically weekly) based on the hours that they work. – I receive my wages every Friday.

waste (verb): Spend money stupidly or on things that are unnecessary. – Sam wastes all his money on cigarettes and beer.

wealthy (adjective): (of a person or organization) Having a lot of money. Rich. – Do the wealthy nations of the world have a responsibility for the others?

well off (adjective): (of a person) Being in a good financial situation. – Although he didn’t use to have much money, nowadays Tom is quite well off.

withdraw (verb): Take money out of your bank account. – I withdrew £20 from my account.