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- Any of various bladed or pointed hand weapons, originally designating an Anglo-Saxon sword, and later a weapon of infantry, especially in the 14th and 15th centuries. A common form of bill consisted of a broad, heavy, double-edged, hook-shaped blade, having a short pike at the back and another at the top, and attached to the end of a long staff.
- France had no infantry that dared to face the English bows and bills. — Macaulay.
- 1786: In the British Museum there is an entry of a warrant, granted to Nicholas Spicer, authorising him to impress smiths for making two thousand Welch bills or glaives. — Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons.
- To dig, chop, etc., with a bill.
- The beak of a bird, especially when small or flattish; sometimes also used with reference to a turtle, platypus, or other animal.
- 1595: The woosel cock so black of hue, With orange-tawny bill, The throstle with his note so true, The wren with little quill... — William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III, Scene I, line 125.
- A beak-like projection, especially a promontory.
- To peck.
- To stroke bill against bill, with reference to doves; to caress in fondness.
- 1599: As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.
- A written list or inventory. (Now obsolete except in specific senses or set phrases; bill of lading, bill of goods, etc.)
- A document, originally sealed; a formal statement or official memorandum. (Now obsolete except with certain qualifying words; bill of health, bill of sale etc.)
- A draft of a law, presented to a legislature for enactment; a proposed or projected law.
- 1600: Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. — William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, Scene I, line 28.
- A declaration made in writing, stating some wrong the complainant has suffered from the defendant, or a fault committed by some person against a law.
- A piece of paper money; a banknote.
- 1830, Anon, The Galaxy of Wit: Or, Laughing Philosopher, Being a Collection of Choice Anecdotes, Many of Which Originated in or about "The Literary Emporium" — He gave the change for a three dollar bill. Upon examination, the bill proved to be counterfeit.
- A written note of goods sold, services rendered, or work done, with the price or charge; an invoice.
- 1607, My lord, here is my bill. — William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act III, Scene IV, line 85.
- A paper, written or printed, and posted up or given away, to advertise something, as a lecture, a play, or the sale of goods; a placard; a poster; a handbill.
- 1595: In the meantime I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. — William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I, Scene II, line 104.
- She put up the bill in her parlor window. — Dickens.
- A writing binding the signer or signers to pay a certain sum at a future day or on demand, with or without interest, as may be stated in the document. A bill of exchange. In the United States, it is usually called a note, a note of hand, or a promissory note.
- 1600: Ay, and Rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born, Master Parson; who writes himself Armigero, in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, Armigero. — William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I, Scene I, line 8.
- To advertise by a bill or public notice.
- To charge; to send a bill to.