Simple Definition of lend
: to give (something) to (someone) to be used for a period of time and then returned
: to give (money) to someone who agrees to pay it back in the future
: to make (something) available to (someone or something)
Full Definition of lend
lent play \ˈlent\ lend·ing
1 a (1) : to give for temporary use on condition that the same or its equivalent be returned <lend me your pen> (2) : to put at another's temporary disposal <lent us their services> b : to let out (money) for temporary use on condition of repayment with interest
2 a : to give the assistance or support of : afford, furnish <a dispassionate and scholarly manner which lends great force to his criticisms — Times Literary Supplement> b : to adapt or apply (oneself) readily : accommodate <a topic that lends itself admirably to class discussion>
: to make a loan
Usage Discussion of lend
The verb loan is one of the words English settlers brought to America and continued to use after it had died out in Britain. Its use was soon noticed by British visitors and somewhat later by the New England literati, who considered it a bit provincial. It was flatly declared wrong in 1870 by a popular commentator, who based his objection on etymology. A later scholar showed that the commentator was ignorant of Old English and thus unsound in his objection, but by then it was too late, as the condemnation had been picked up by many other commentators. Although a surprising number of critics still voice objections, loan is entirely standard as a verb. You should note that it is used only literally; lend is the verb used for figurative expressions, such as “lending a hand” or “lending enchantment.”
Examples of lend
I lent our ladder to the neighbors.
The bank wouldn't lend us the money.
Many banks won't lend to people with bad credit.
They are glad to lend their support to worthy causes.
Origin of lend
Middle English lenen, lenden, from Old English lǣnan, from lǣn loan — more at loan
First Known Use: before 12th century
LEND Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up lend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).