am·​or·​tize | \ ˈa-mər-ˌtīz also ə-ˈmȯr- How to pronounce amortize (audio) \
amortized; amortizing

Definition of amortize

transitive verb

1 : to pay off (an obligation, such as a mortgage) gradually usually by periodic payments of principal and interest or by payments to a sinking fund amortize a loan
2 : to gradually reduce or write off the cost or value of (something, such as an asset) amortize goodwill amortize machinery

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from amortize

amortizable \ -​ˌtī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce amortizable (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

When you amortize a loan, you "kill it off" gradually by paying it down in installments. This is reflected in the word's etymology. Amortize derives via Middle English and Anglo-French from Vulgar Latin admortire, meaning "to kill." The Latin noun mors ("death") is a root of "admortire"; it is related to our word murder, and it also gave us a word naming a kind of loan that is usually amortized: "mortgage." "Amortize" carries a different meaning in the field of corporate finance, where it means to depreciate the cost or value of an asset (as, for example, to reduce interest revenue on that asset for tax purposes).

Examples of amortize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Costs may be fixed, such as amortizing a factory, equipment or other overhead that does not vary with the amount of output produced. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Oil prices, war, and a bad corn crop," 23 June 2019 Photos: Andrew Spear for The Wall Street Journal Airstream’s order bank remains robust, but Mr. Martin said the company’s investors still expect a measured approach, one that doesn’t take long to amortize capital spending. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Humans Are Winning the Battle With Robots," 1 Nov. 2018 After all, the equipment has been amortized and the unit economics are good. Kyle Stock,, "Zombie cars offer sweet deals for consumers, headaches for automakers," 25 June 2018 After all, the equipment has been amortized and the unit economics are good. Kyle Stock,, "The Sedan is Dying, So It’s Time to Buy One," 25 June 2018 The average cost of a rooftop solar panel system today is $18,840, which amortized at a 5.5% interest rate over 30 years is $107 a month. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California Prays to the Sun God," 11 May 2018 Illinois has repeatedly re-amortized its payments, which is why state pensions are only 40% funded. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Have We Got a Muni Bond for You," 10 May 2018 The average estimated cost of a solar system is $9,500, or $40 a month when amortized over a 30-year mortgage. NBC News, "California becomes first state to require solar panels on new homes," 9 May 2018 Buying in bulk will drop that cost, but that’s still a hard price tag to bear, even on a fleet vehicle that can amortize costs over years of service. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Luminar's New Lidar Could Bring Vision to Every Robocar in the World," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amortize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of amortize

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for amortize

Middle English amortisen to kill, alienate in mortmain, from Anglo-French amorteser, alteration of amortir, from Vulgar Latin *admortire to kill, from Latin ad- + mort-, mors death — more at murder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about amortize

Listen to Our Podcast about amortize

Statistics for amortize

Last Updated

27 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for amortize

The first known use of amortize was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for amortize



English Language Learners Definition of amortize

business : to pay money that is owed for something (such as a mortgage) by making regular payments over a long period of time


transitive verb
amor·​tize | \ ˈa-mər-ˌtīz, ə-ˈmȯr- How to pronounce amortize (audio) \
amortized; amortizing

Legal Definition of amortize

: to reduce (an amount) gradually: as
a : to pay off (as a loan) gradually usually by periodic payments of principal and interest or payments to a sinking fund
b : to gradually reduce the cost of (as an asset) especially for tax purposes by making periodic charges to income over a time span amortize the machinery over five years — see also depreciation — compare capitalize, deduct

Other Words from amortize

amortizable adjective
amortization \ ˌa-​mər-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən, ə-​ˌmȯr-​ How to pronounce amortization (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on amortize

Spanish Central: Translation of amortize

Nglish: Translation of amortize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amortize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on amortize

What made you want to look up amortize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!