Foot the bill

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Foot the bill is an idiom that has been in use since the 1800s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom foot the bill, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Foot the bill means to pay for something, to be financially responsible for goods or services, especially when the amount owed is a large one. Often, the term foot the bill is used when someone is being generous or taking responsibility for an enormous debt. The idiom foot the bill is derived from an earlier idiom first used in the 1500s: foot up. This phrase meant to add up the figures on a document and come to a total at the foot of the bill. By the early 1800s, the phrase had morphed into today’s form, foot the bill, meaning to pay the total at the foot of the bill. Related phrases are foots the bill and footing the bill.


“And now, most Americans say that they will ultimately foot the bill from a widening trade war with China.” (Bloomberg)

Palestine: Leaked Documents Suggest Gulf Countries Will Foot the Bill for “Deal of Century’ (Morocco World News)

For now though, until buyers and sellers can agree how to get the tainted oil out of Druzhba – and who will foot the bill – the pipeline is set to remain shut. (The Indian Express)

There are a few charges that you may have to foot the bill for such as leaving your tenancy early. (The Sun)