Define: Overhead

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Overhead

Quick Summary of Overhead

Expenses incurred in the daily operation of a business such as rent, salaries, and insurance, which are not directly related to the making of a product or a service.

What is the dictionary definition of Overhead?

Dictionary Definition

  1. The expense of a business not directly assigned to goods or services provided.
  2. The items or classes of expense not directly assigned to goods or services provided.
  3. Any cost or expenditure (monetary, time, effort or otherwise) incurred in a project or activity, which does not directly contribute to the progress or outcome of the project or activity.
  4. Wasted money.


Examples of Overhead in a sentence

Many small companies find that on-line sales are much more profitable because they don’t have to worry about the overhead associated with maintaining a brick-and-mortar retail store.
One of the things potential investors look for in a company is a reasonable overhead margin, which shows that the managers have an eye on the budget.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Overhead. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 02, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Overhead. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: April 02, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Overhead. Retrieved April 02, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Overhead are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February 2020.