General English


  • noun a plan of expected spending and income for a period of time
  • verb to plan probable income and expenditure


  • A rough estimate of the value of a portion of, or total cost of, a construction project.


  • noun a plan of expected spending and income (usually for one year). In general, the term refers to the annual plan of taxes and government spending proposed by a finance minister, but is also used to apply to financial planning for companies and individuals.
  • verb to set aside a sum of money for expected spending and income

Health Economics

  • (written as Budget)
    A statement of planned receipts and expenditures set for a future period - usually a year, though not always a calendar year.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a financial plan showing how much money is available and how it is proposed to spend it
  • verb to allow pre-determined amounts of money for specific purposes


  • noun a plan of expected spending and income, usually for a period of one year, e.g. the plan made by a government’s finance minister
  • verb to make plans of expected spending and income

Real Estate

  • noun a plan specifying how resources, especially time or money, will be allocated or spent during a particular period or on a particular project
  • verb to plan the allocation, expenditure or use of resources, especially money or time

Origin & History of “budget”

Originally, a budget was a ‘pouch’. English got the word from Old French bougette, which was a diminutive form of bouge ‘leather bag’ (from which we get bulge). This came from Latin bulga, which may have been of Gaulish origin (medieval Irish bolg ‘bag’ has been compared). The word’s financial connotations arose in the 18th century, the original notion being that the government minister concerned with treasury affairs opened his budget, or wallet, to reveal what fiscal measures he had in mind. The first reference to the expression occurs in a pamphlet called The budget opened 1733 directed against Sir Robert Walpole: ‘And how is this to be done? Why by an Alteration only of the present method of collecting the publick Revenues … So then, out it comes at last. The Budget is opened; and our state Empirick hath dispensed his packets by his zany Couriers through all parts of the Kingdom … I do not pretend to understand this Art of political Legerdemain’. The earliest recorded use of the word non-satirically in this sense seems to be from 1764.