borrow

verb bor·row \ ˈbär-(ˌ)ō , ˈbȯr- \
|Updated on: 20 Jul 2018
borrowed; borrowing; borrows
1 a : to receive with the implied or expressed intention of returning the same or an equivalent
  • borrow a book from the library
  • borrowed a dollar
  • borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor
b finance : to borrow (money) with the intention of returning the same plus interest (see 1interest 2a)
  • borrow money from the bank
2 a : to appropriate for one's own use
  • borrow a metaphor from Shakespeare
b : derive, adopt
  • traditions borrowed from African polytheism
3 mathematics : to take (one) from a digit of the minuend in arithmetical subtraction in order to add as 10 to the digit holding the next lower place
4 : to adopt into one language from another
  • The English word "entrepreneur" was borrowed from French.
5 dialect : lend
  • Borrow me your pencil.
: to borrow something
  • borrows heavily from Nietzsche

borrower

play \-ə-wər\ noun
borrow trouble
: to do something unnecessarily that may result in adverse reaction or repercussions

Examples of borrow in a Sentence

  1. The twins often borrow each other's clothes.

  2. I'm borrowing a friend's car for the weekend.

  3. He borrowed the book from the library.

  4. Will you see if we can borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors?

  5. She borrowed from me.

  6. The speech was peppered with phrases borrowed from Winston Churchill.

  7. She borrowed the technique from local artisans.

Recent Examples of borrow from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of borrow

Middle English borwen, from Old English borgian; akin to Old English beorgan to preserve — more at bury

Borrow

biographical name Bor·row \ ˈbär-(ˌ)ō \
George Henry 1803–1881 English author


BORROW Defined for English Language Learners

borrow

  • : to take and use (something that belongs to someone else) for a period of time before returning it

  • : to take and use up (something) with the promise to give back something of equal value

  • : to use (an idea, saying, etc.) that was thought up by someone else


BORROW Defined for Kids

borrow

verb bor·row \ ˈbär-ō \
borrowed; borrowing
1 : to take and use something with the promise of returning it Can I borrow your pen?
2 : to use something begun or thought up by another : adopt
  • borrow an idea
3 : to adopt into one language from another
  • Many English words are borrowed from French.

borrower

\ˈbär-ə-wər\ noun

Law Dictionary

borrow

transitive verb bor·row
: to take or receive temporarily; specifically : to receive (money) with the intention of returning the same plus interest

borrower

noun


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