1. The outlay of money, for example, by depositing it in a bank or buying stock in a company, with the object of making a profit. 2. An amount of money invested in something for the purpose of making a profit. 3. Something such as a company, endeavor, or object that money is invested in with the goal of making a profit. 4. A contribution of something such as time, energy, or effort to an activity, project, or undertaking, in the expectation of a benefit. 5. A purchase, especially something that somebody should be able to use for a relatively long time (informal.) 6. The outlay of money that a company’s existing buildings, equipment, and materials are equivalent to.