Define: Revenue

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Revenue

Quick Summary of Revenue

Created by a transaction or event arising during the ordinary activities of the business which causes an increase in the ownership interest.

What is the dictionary definition of Revenue?

Dictionary Definition

the entire amount of income before any deductions are made.

  1. The income returned by an investment.
  2. The total income received from a given source.
  3. All income generated for some political entity’s treasury by taxation and other means
  4. The total sales; turnover.
  5. The net revenue, net sales.


Full Definition of Revenue

Revenue is a term primarily used in the United States to describe the amount of money a company generates in a set period of time through the sale of products and/or services. Revenue is calculated before any expenses are deducted, with the reporting of revenue varying from business to business. Revenue can be ‘recognized’ or ‘received’ in different ways. Revenue can be legally recognized when products/services are exchanged for cash or other assets, or when a claim to cash or asset is made (such as a signed contract). The rules specifying when the recognition of revenue should occur are based on various accounting methods, including cash basis accounting and accrual basis accounting. Businesses often break revenue down by operating segment, department, geographic location and/or product/service line, among others. In government, revenue is derived from taxes, liens, licenses and other fees. Non-profit organizations broaden revenue classification to include donations, grants and barters. Another name for revenue is “top line” because of its prominent position at the top of an income statement. Often the terms sales and revenue are used interchangeably.


Examples of Revenue in a sentence

The CEO made his strategic recommendations using the revenue projection from last year, and it didn’t take into account the effect of the new tax laws.
At first glance, this company looks very successful, but their monthly revenue never seems to be more than ten per cent more than their monthly expenses.

Synonyms For Revenue

income, proceeds, earnings, return, gain

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):
Revenue. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. February 22, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Revenue. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: February 22, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Revenue. Retrieved February 22, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Revenue 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: 23rd December 2018.