bor·​row·​ing | \ˈbär-ə-wiŋ, ˈbȯr-\

Definition of borrowing 

: something borrowed especially : a word or phrase adopted from one language into another

Examples of borrowing in a Sentence

He's compiling a list of Japanese borrowings in English. Students must have their own pencils. Borrowing is not allowed. Economists predict that there will be increases in government borrowing.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Today's owners appear to be making more responsible use of their home-equity borrowings. Kenneth R. Harney,, "Booming Home Equity: Financial Opportunity Or Warning Sign?," 28 June 2018 Meanwhile, mortgage lending and consumer borrowing have surged. Anabela Reis,, "Small Portuguese Firms Are Starting a New Trend," 25 June 2018 The truth is that extra money for the NHS must come from lower spending elsewhere, higher taxes or more borrowing. The Economist, "Theresa May’s lacklustre plan for the NHS," 21 June 2018 The Fed raised the federal funds rate -- which helps determine rates for mortgages, credit cards and other borrowing -- a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75% to 2%. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for June 14: Russia probe, interest rates, North Korea, migrants, World Cup," 14 June 2018 Will have to try borrowing or resort to the Red Cross. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Service Diary of a Corpsman: Roy L. Wall, LST 509," 28 May 2018 The island’s cycle of debt and borrowing followed Congress’ withdrawal of a special tax break. Hal Boedeker,, "Puerto Rico: ‘Frontline,’ NPR investigate ‘Blackout’," 28 Apr. 2018 When rules on margin borrowing were tightened in mid-2015—and everyone suddenly remembered that the real economy was still in the doldrums—most of those gains evaporated. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "A Stock Market Crash With Chinese Characteristics," 9 July 2018 The overall percentage of parents borrowing alongside their children has dropped slightly, but those who are borrowing are taking on significantly more debt. Karl Russell, New York Times, "The New Toll of American Student Debt in 3 Charts," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'borrowing.' 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 borrowing

1609, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about borrowing

Statistics for borrowing

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for borrowing

The first known use of borrowing was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for borrowing



English Language Learners Definition of borrowing

: something that is borrowed; especially : a word or phrase from one language that is used in another language

: the act of borrowing something; especially : the act of borrowing money

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on borrowing

Spanish Central: Translation of borrowing

Nglish: Translation of borrowing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of borrowing for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about borrowing

Comments on borrowing

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!