borrow

verb
bor·​row | \ ˈbär-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce borrow (audio) , ˈbȯr-\
borrowed; borrowing; borrows

Definition of borrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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 interest entry 1 sense 3a) borrow money from the bank
2a : 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.

intransitive verb

: to borrow something borrows heavily from Nietzsche
borrow trouble
: to do something unnecessarily that may result in adverse reaction or repercussions

Borrow

biographical name
Bor·​row | \ ˈbär-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce Borrow (audio) \

Definition of Borrow (Entry 2 of 2)

George Henry 1803–1881 English author

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Other Words from borrow

Verb

borrower \ ˈbär-​ə-​wər How to pronounce borrower (audio) , ˈbȯr-​ \ noun

Synonyms for borrow

Synonyms: Verb

adopt, embrace, espouse, take on, take up

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Examples of borrow in a Sentence

Verb

The twins often borrow each other's clothes. I'm borrowing a friend's car for the weekend. He borrowed the book from the library. Will you see if we can borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors? She borrowed $20 from me. The speech was peppered with phrases borrowed from Winston Churchill. She borrowed the technique from local artisans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Royal family fans were quick to notice that Meghan Markle had seemingly borrowed an old jacket from husband Prince Harry to cover her baby bump. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has Started Wearing Prince Harry's Clothes Over Her Baby Bump," 2 Apr. 2019 The account then came in hot with some screenshot receipts suggesting Kardashian may have leaked her borrowed designer look to Fashion Nova before wearing it. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Kim Kardashian Helping Fast Fashion Sites Knock Off Her Designer Looks?," 20 Feb. 2019 While the two styles contradict each other in some ways, the main tenant that peganism borrows from both is a focus on real, whole foods. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the Pegan Diet? It's Not as Simple as Paleo + Vegan," 17 Jan. 2019 To scrub out deep stains, borrow this clever cutting board-cleaning trick: Cut a lemon in half, dip in salt, and rub on the affected area. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Butcher-Block Countertops: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Should Know," 15 Jan. 2019 What The Best of Me borrowed from The Notebook, The Notebook did better. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "A Definitive Ranking of the 8 Best Nicholas Sparks Movies," 20 Nov. 2018 Directed by Cooper himself and nominated for eight Oscars this year, the newest A Star Is Born both borrows a bit from each of its predecessors and puts its own spin on the tragic love story. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "What Is 'A Star Is Born' Really About? Here's a Look at All 4 Versions of the Movie," 24 Feb. 2019 Joseph begs, borrows, and steals to come up with the money for legal defense and private investigators. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 OverDrive has been around since the 1980s and has a big fan base of readers who prefer to borrow books and support their local libraries instead of purchasing them. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kobo Forma review: A formidable opponent for Amazon’s Kindle Oasis," 22 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of borrow

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for borrow

Verb

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

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More Definitions for borrow

borrow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of 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

verb
bor·​row | \ ˈbär-ō How to pronounce borrow (audio) \
borrowed; borrowing

Kids Definition of borrow

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.

Other Words from borrow

borrower \ ˈbär-​ə-​wər \ noun
bor·​row

Legal Definition of borrow

: to take or receive temporarily specifically : to receive (money) with the intention of returning the same plus interest

Other Words from borrow

borrower noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on borrow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with borrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for borrow

Spanish Central: Translation of borrow

Nglish: Translation of borrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of borrow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on borrow

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