am·​or·​tize | \ˈa-mər-ˌtīz also ə-ˈmȯr- \
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

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Other Words from amortize

amortizable \ -​ˌtī-​zə-​bəl \ 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

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 One significant change to R&D expense deductions is that for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2021, specified research and experimentation expenses must now be capitalized and amortized ratably over a five-year period. Lourdes De Los Santos, miamiherald, "What do South Florida tech companies need to know about tax reform? | Miami Herald," 17 Mar. 2018 But even that, amortized, in all bonds renders a relatively minimalistic 30-year retirement. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Medical advances increase the odds you're going to need more in your 401(k)," 21 Jan. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for amortize

The first known use of amortize was in 1867

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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- \
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-​ \ noun

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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

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something that serves to warn or remind

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