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noun \ˈlōn\

Simple Definition of loan

  • : an amount of money that is given to someone for a period of time with a promise that it will be paid back : an amount of money that is borrowed

  • : permission to use something for a period of time

Full Definition of loan

  1. 1 a :  money lent at interest b :  something lent usually for the borrower's temporary use

  2. 2 a :  the grant of temporary use b :  the temporary duty of a person transferred to another job for a limited time

  3. 3 :  loanword

Examples of loan

  1. He got a car loan.

  2. He'll need several more years to pay off the rest of the loan.

  3. She needed money, so she asked her friend for a loan.

Origin of loan

Middle English lon, from Old Norse lān; akin to Old English lǣn loan, lēon to lend, Latin linquere to leave, Greek leipein

First Known Use: 12th century




Simple Definition of loan

  • : to give (something) to (someone) for a period of time

  • : to give (money) to (someone) who agrees to pay it back in the future

Full Definition of loan

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  lend

loan·able play \ˈlō-nə-bəl\ adjective

Usage Discussion of loan

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 loan

  1. The National Gallery has been kind enough to loan this painting to our museum.

  2. His mother loaned him the money to buy a new car.

  3. Can you loan me $20?

13th Century

First Known Use of loan

13th century

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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