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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

So Congress might have to approve extra funds or increase the program’s borrowing limit, to make sure that claims are paid. Ann Carrns, New York Times, "Hurricane Season Has Begun. Do You Need Flood Insurance?," 15 June 2018 Perdue has a $30 billion borrowing limit under CCC, but other U.S. agriculture needs are paid from the pool. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Ag groups weigh USDA payoffs for tariffs," 13 Apr. 2018 President Barack Obama signed a bill temporarily raising the government's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, averting a default., "Today in History: February 4, 2018," 4 Feb. 2018 The March 23 end-date could raise alarms about the nation’s debt ceiling, if next week’s measure doesn’t also include raising the federal borrowing limit., "GOP Looking at Extending Government Funding Through March 23," 1 Feb. 2018 Debt-ceiling showdowns were complicated enough in past years, when President Barack Obama frequently clashed with the G.O.P. over raising the government’s statutory borrowing limit. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "The Political Crisis Looming Over Trump’s Presidency," 14 Aug. 2017 As with most open source projects, the borrowing went both ways: Ubuntu's Humanity theme was a fork of elementary OS's icon set. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018 But if small combinations of individual dance steps can be copyrighted, does that make borrowing someone else’s move onstage during a performance an act of infringement? Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 The Federal Emergency Management Agency last year used up all of its congressional borrowing authority, set at $30.4 billion, to pay for damages caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "As Hurricane Season Ramps Up, Flood Insurance Program Set to Expire," 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.

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First Known Use of borrowing

1609, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for borrowing

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for borrowing

The first known use of borrowing was in 1609

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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

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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).


very full or close together

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