collateral

1 of 2

noun

col·​lat·​er·​al kə-ˈla-t(ə-)rəl How to pronounce collateral (audio)
plural collaterals
1
: property (such as securities) pledged by a borrower to protect the interests of the lender
2
: a collateral relative
A collateral inherited the estate.
3
: a branch of a bodily part (such as a vein)
4
: informational materials (such as brochures and fact sheets) used in selling a product or service to a prospective customer or buyer
Attendees can expect to make approximately 50 new business contacts and should … have an ample supply of business cards, marketing collateral and anything else to help potential leads remember them.Nancy Hollingshead and Laurie Winslow

collateral

2 of 2

adjective

1
a
: accompanying as secondary or subordinate : concomitant
digress into collateral matters
b
: indirect
no direct objection, but a few collateral ones
c
: serving to support or reinforce : ancillary
collateral evidence was presented at the trial
2
: belonging to the same ancestral stock but not in a direct line of descent compare lineal sense 3a
Brothers, cousins, uncles, and nephews are collateral kinsmen.
3
: parallel, coordinate, or corresponding in position, order, time, or significance
collateral states like Athens and Sparta
4
a
: of, relating to, or being collateral used as security (as for payment of a debt or performance of a contract)
b
: secured by collateral
a collateral loan secured by stocks and bonds deposited with the lender
collaterality noun
collaterally adverb

Did you know?

If an official talking about some policy refers to a collateral issue, he or she means something that may be affected but isn't central to the discussion. To an anthropologist, your cousin would be called a collateral relative, since he or she (unlike your grandmother, brother, or daughter) is "off to the side" of your direct line of descent. As a noun, collateral means something provided to a lender as a guarantee of repayment. So if you take out a loan or mortgage to buy a car or house, the loan agreement usually states that the car or house is collateral that goes to the lender if the sum isn't paid.

Examples of collateral in a Sentence

Adjective the collateral effects of the government's policies
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
That money, in turn, was to be used as collateral to issue $15 billion in bonds to fund the current capital plan. Evan Simko-Bednarski, New York Daily News, 25 June 2024 Before each rehab project, Jolly must risk his own family’s home as collateral to get funding from the banks. Kevin Hardy, Kansas City Star, 24 June 2024
Adjective
Although these laws were enacted by progressive legislators with the best of intentions, their collateral consequences will inevitably visit much pain and financial suffering on Maryland citizens. Chris West, Baltimore Sun, 29 Apr. 2024 More attention on the WNBA because of Clark cannot help but result in more collateral benefit for players such as Wilson to be seen and shine in the broader spotlight. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for collateral 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'collateral.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

derivative of collateral entry 2, in sense 1 as short for collateral security

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin collateralis, from Latin com- + lateralis lateral

First Known Use

Noun

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of collateral was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near collateral

Cite this Entry

“Collateral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collateral. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

collateral

1 of 2 adjective
col·​lat·​er·​al kə-ˈlat-ə-rəl How to pronounce collateral (audio)
-ˈla-trəl
1
: associated but of secondary importance
2
: descended from common ancestors but not in the same line
cousins are collateral relatives
collaterally
-ə-rə-lē How to pronounce collateral (audio)
-trə-lē
adverb

collateral

2 of 2 noun
: property (as stocks, bonds, or a mortgage) pledged as security for a loan

Medical Definition

collateral

1 of 2 adjective
col·​lat·​er·​al kə-ˈlat-ə-rəl, -ˈla-trəl How to pronounce collateral (audio)
1
: relating to or being branches of a bodily part
collateral sprouting of nerves
2
: relating to or being part of the collateral circulation
collateral circulatory vessels
collateral blood flow

collateral

2 of 2 noun
1
: a branch especially of a blood vessel, nerve, or the axon of a nerve cell
excitation of axon collaterals
2
: a bodily part (as a ligament) that is lateral in position

Legal Definition

collateral

1 of 2 adjective
col·​lat·​er·​al kə-ˈla-tə-rəl, -ˈla-trəl How to pronounce collateral (audio)
1
a
: accompanying as a secondary fact, activity, or agency but subordinate to a main consideration
b
: not directly relevant or material
a collateral evidentiary matter
a collateral issue
2
: belonging to the same ancestral stock but not in a direct line of descent compare lineal
3
a
: of, relating to, or being collateral used as a security (as for payment of a debt)
b
: secured by collateral
a collateral loan
collaterally adjective

collateral

2 of 2 noun
1
: a collateral relative
2
: property pledged by a borrower to protect the interests of the lender in the event of the borrower's default
specifically, under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code : property subject to a security interest
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!