American Dictionary of the English Language

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BILL, noun

1. The beak of a fowl.

2. An instrument used by plumbers, basket makers and gardeners, made in the form of a crescent, and fitted with a handle. When short, it is called a hand-bill; when long, a hedge-bill. It is used for pruning trees, etc.

BILL, noun

A pick-ax, or mattock; a battle-ax; an ax or hatchet with a crooked point.

BILL, noun

1. In law, a declaration in writing, expressing some wrong the complainant has suffered from the defendant, or a fault committed by some person against a law. It contains the fact complained of, the damage sustained, and a petition or process against the defendant for redress. It is used both in civil and criminal cases.

In Scots law, every summary application in writing, by way of petition to the court of session, is called a bill

2. In law and in commerce, in England, an obligation or security given for money under the hand, and sometimes the seal of the debtor, without a condition or forfeiture for non-payment. In the latter circumstance, it differs from a bond. In the United States, this species of security is usually called a note, a note of hand, or a promissory note.

3. A form or draft of a law, presented to a legislature, but not enacted. In some cases, statutes are called bills; but usually they are qualified by some description, as a bill of attainder.

4. A paper written or printed, and posted in some public place, advertising the proposed sale of goods, or particular things; an advertisement posted.

5. An account of goods sold or delivered, services rendered or work done, with the price or value annexed to each article.

6. Any written paper, containing a statement of particulars; as a bill of charges or expenditures; a physician's bill of prescriptions; a bill of fare or provisions, etc.

7. A bill of exchange is an order drawn on a person, in a distant place, requesting or directing him to pay money to some person assigned by the drawer, or to his order, in consideration of the same sum received by the drawer. Bills of exchange are either foreign or inland; foreign, when drawn by a person in one country upon one residing in another; inland, when both the drawer and drawee reside in the same country. The person who draws the bill is called the drawer; the person on whom the request or demand is made, is called the drawee; and the person to whom the money is directed to be paid, is called the payee.

8. A bill of entry is a written account of goods entered at the customhouse, whether imported or intended for exportation.

9. A bill of lading is a written account of goods shipped by any person, on board of a vessel, signed by the master of the vessel, who acknowledges the receipt of the goods, and promises to deliver them safe at the place directed, dangers of the sea excepted. It is usual for the master to sign two, three or four copies of the bill; one of which he keeps in possession, one is kept by the shipper, and one is sent to the consignee of the goods.

10. A bill of parcels is an account given by the seller to the buyer, of the several articles purchased, with the price of each.

11. A bill of sale is when a person borrows money and delivers goods to the lender as security, and at the same time, gives him a bill empowering him to sell the goods, if the money is not repaid at the appointed time with interest.

In the United States, a bill of sale is a writing given by the seller of personal property to the purchaser, answering to a deed of real estate, but without seal.

12. A bill of mortality is an account of the number of deaths in a place, in a given time. In these bills it is not unusual to insert registers of births and christenings, as in London.

13. Bank-bill. [See Bank.]

14. A bill of rights is a summary of rights and privileges, claimed by a people. Such was the declaration presented by the lords and commons of England to the prince and princess of Orange in 1688. In America, a bill or declaration or rights is prefixed to most of the constitutions of the several states.

15. A bill of divorce, in the Jewish law, was a writing given by the husband to the wife, by which the marriage relation was dissolved.

16. [See Indictment.]

BILL, verb intransitive [from bill a beak.] To join bills, as doves; to caress in fondness.

BILL, verb transitive [from bill a writing.] To advertise by a bill or public notice; a cant word.