interest

noun
in·​ter·​est | \ ˈin-t(ə-)rəst How to pronounce interest (audio) ; ˈin-tə-ˌrest, -ˌtrest; ˈin-tərst \

Definition of interest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a feeling that accompanies or causes special attention to something or someone : concern
b : something or someone that arouses such attention
c : a quality in a thing or person arousing interest
3a : a charge for borrowed money generally a percentage of the amount borrowed
b : the profit in goods or money that is made on invested capital
c : an excess above what is due or expected returned the insults with interest
4a(1) : right, title, or legal share in something
(2) : participation in advantage and responsibility

interest

verb
interested; interesting; interests

Definition of interest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to engage the attention or arouse the interest of
2 : to induce or persuade to participate or engage

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Examples of interest in a Sentence

Noun She told us about her lifelong interest in music. The kids listened to the speaker for a little while, but then lost interest. The speaker wasn't able to hold their interest. She took an active interest in the political debate. He expressed an interest in learning more about photography. The stories about his personal life add interest to the book. I thought this article might be of interest to you. We visited many places of interest on our vacation. The price of the ticket was a matter of interest to everyone. Music is one of her many interests. Verb Military history doesn't really interest me. It might interest you to know that the woman in this photograph is your great-grandmother. It interested me to learn that she had once lived in California. The salesman tried to interest me in a more expensive computer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That means interest rates are likely to remain near zero for years. New York Times, "How Full Employment Became Washington’s Creed," 18 Jan. 2021 In a world of negative interest rates, cash is racing around the globe chasing higher returns and havens from volatility. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "BlackRock is forcing finance to take climate risk seriously," 16 Jan. 2021 This is not meant to downplay the attack on our democracy but rather to acknowledge that as far as markets are concerned, rising interest rates matter more than rising political temperatures. Ben Marks, Star Tribune, "Political theater obscures bigger financial risks," 16 Jan. 2021 These constraints and inconveniences drive many low-income Americans to payday lenders and check cashers, with their high interest rates and fees. John Mcwhorter, Washington Post, "Biden Should ...," 15 Jan. 2021 Biden stressed in his Thursday speech announcing the plan that low interest rates mean the government should borrow now in hopes of having faster growth and a more stable financial outlook in the future. Josh Boak, ajc, "Biden's aid plan could revamp economy, prompt GOP resistance," 15 Jan. 2021 That news is counteracting comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell about interest rates being kept low, which weighed on the dollar and boosted oil Thursday. WSJ, "Oil Ticks Down As Market Eyes Chinese Infection Rates," 15 Jan. 2021 The layoffs — in response to an economy weakened by the pandemic and low interest rates — were across all of the bank’s regions and departments, Day said. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Frost Bank confirms layoffs, its first in nearly two decades," 15 Jan. 2021 And Mosley said interest rates should stay low, at least for the foreseeable future. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Alabama vacation properties in high demand as COVID pandemic rages on," 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This gives the students the chance to engage with areas that really interest them, hopefully increasing their satisfaction. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "All I want for Christmas is an awesome new curriculum," 29 Dec. 2020 The two will go head-to-head Saturday in the SEC championship, which is sure to interest many Heisman voters. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Megan Ryan's Heisman Trophy vote probably won't be for one of favored quarterbacks," 17 Dec. 2020 Do contemporary Italian movies and filmmakers not interest you as much? Simon Abrams, New York Times, "Sophia Loren Makes Her Return to Film: ‘I’m a Perfectionist’," 13 Nov. 2020 Keeler, a single mom with a lack of reliable transportation and a low income, searched for educational opportunities that would interest her son and also offer him guidance. Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur, NOLA.com, "New Orleans kids with autism can study coding to prep for jobs in video games, web design, more," 3 Dec. 2020 Here’s a little piece of info that might interest you…we’re about two weeks away from the time change. Bob Sims | Rsims@al.com, al, "‘Down in Alabama’: election deadlines, Shipt’s shape and flying vs. COVID," 19 Oct. 2020 Best Buy has several more 4K TVs available for deep discounts if either of these options don’t interest you. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "Black Friday 2020 TV deals: Best sales on 4K HD televisions, home theater equipment to optimize your home viewing experience," 27 Nov. 2020 Great Wolf Lodge Arizona has a new package that might interest you. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "Want a private water park for your family? Here's how to 'own' Great Wolf Lodge for $10k," 14 Nov. 2020 But the obstacles were considerable, and Tong originally couldn't interest his Canadian researchers in attacking the problem. Steven Levy, Wired, "Huawei, 5G, and the Man Who Conquered Noise," 16 Nov. 2020

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a(1)

Verb

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for interest

Noun

Middle English, probably alteration of earlier interesse, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, to be between, make a difference, concern, from inter- + esse to be — more at is

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Time Traveler for interest

Time Traveler

The first known use of interest was in the 15th century

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Statistics for interest

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Interest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interest. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for interest

interest

noun
How to pronounce interest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of wanting to learn more about something or to be involved in something
: a quality that attracts your attention and makes you want to learn more about something or to be involved in something
: something (such as a hobby) that a person enjoys learning about or doing

interest

verb

English Language Learners Definition of interest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cause (someone) to want to learn more about something or to become involved in something
: to persuade (someone) to have, take, or participate in (something)

interest

noun
in·​ter·​est | \ ˈin-trəst How to pronounce interest (audio) , ˈin-tə-rəst \

Kids Definition of interest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a feeling of concern or curiosity about or desire to be involved with something an interest in music We lost interest in the game.
2 : a quality that makes something more appealing or interesting Personal stories add interest to the book.
3 : something that a person enjoys learning about or doing Sports is one of his many interests.
4 : something that provides help or benefit to a person or group It's in your interest to study.
5 : the money paid by a borrower for the use of borrowed money
6 : the profit made on money that is invested
7 : a right, title, or legal share in something They bought out his interest in the company.
8 interests plural : a group financially interested in an industry or business mining interests

interest

verb
interested; interesting

Kids Definition of interest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to persuade to become involved in Can I interest you in joining us?
2 : to arouse and hold the concern, curiosity, or attention of This movie doesn't interest me.

interest

noun
in·​ter·​est | \ ˈin-trəst; ˈin-tə-rəst, -ˌrest How to pronounce interest (audio) \

Legal Definition of interest

1 : a right, title, claim, or share in property
Article Nine security interest
: security interest in this entry
beneficial interest
: the right to the use and benefit of property a beneficial interest in the trust
contingent interest
: a future interest whose vesting is dependent upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a future event — compare vested interest in this entry
controlling interest
: sufficient stock ownership in a corporation to exert control over policy
equitable interest
: an interest (as a beneficial interest) that is held by virtue of equitable title or that may be claimed on the ground of equitable relief claimed an equitable interest in the debtor's assets
executory interest
: a future interest other than a remainder or reversion that may take effect upon the divesting of a prior interest or one created simultaneously

Note: Unlike a remainder, an executory interest does not require the expiration of a prior interest. It was designed to guard against the destructibility of contingent remainders set forth in the rule in Shelley's case.

expectation interest
: the interest of a party to a breached contract in receiving the benefit of the bargain by being put in a position as good as that which would have resulted had the contract been performed

called also expectancy interest

— compare reliance interest in this entry
future interest
: an interest in property limited or created so that its owner will come into the use, possession, or enjoyment of it at some future time — see also contingent interest and executory interest in this entry — compare remainder, reversion
insurable interest
: an interest or stake in property or in a person that arises from the potential for especially financial loss upon the destruction of the property or the death of the person and that is a requirement for enforcing an insurance contract

Note: The purpose of requiring an insurable interest is to prevent the use of insurance as a form of gambling or as a method of profiting from destruction.

legal interest
: an interest that is recognized in law (as by legal title) — compare equitable interest in this entry, legal title at title
life interest
: an interest lasting for the duration of a person's life that forecloses the ability to affect the property beyond that term — compare life estate at estate sense 1
possessory interest
: an interest (as a right) involving or arising out of the possession of property

Note: A possessory interest is based on control rather than use. Thus a lessee who occupies and controls the use of property has a possessory interest, while a party who has an easement does not.

purchase money security interest
1 : the security interest held by the seller of collateral to secure payment of all or part of the price
2 : the security interest of a person that gives value to a debtor so that the debtor may acquire rights in or the use of collateral
reliance interest
: the interest of a party to a breached contract in being compensated for detriments suffered (as expenses incurred) in reliance on the agreement — compare expectation interest in this entry
reversionary interest
: an interest in property (as a possibility of reverter or a power of termination) remaining in the transferor of the property or in his or her successor in interest
security interest
1 : an interest in property that exists by contract as security for payment or performance of an obligation the security interest of a mortgagee in the mortgaged property also : lien

Note: While a lien may be created by statutory or judicial means without any agreement providing for security (as in the case of a tax lien or judgment lien), a security interest and lien may inhere in the same claim, as when a mortgage comprises both a lien on and security interest in the mortgaged property.

2 : an interest in personal property or fixtures created by a security agreement that secures payment or performance of an obligation the creditor had a security interest in the inventory and accounts receivable of the business

called also Article Nine security interest

— see also attach sense 3, collateral sense 2, perfect entry 2 sense b, purchase money security interest in this entry

Note: Security interests in personal property are governed by Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The security interest set out in Article 9 largely replaces the traditional devices for security, such as the pledge and chattel mortgage. A security interest in property that has attached enables a creditor to obtain satisfaction of a debt out of the property without the need to obtain a judgment in court and levy on the property. Further, it provides the creditor with priority over competing claims against the property.

terminable interest
: an interest (as in a life estate) that will terminate upon the occurrence of an event or the passing of time
vested interest
: a present and certain right to the present or future enjoyment of property — compare contingent interest in this entry
working interest
: the interest of a party that holds the right to oil, gas, or minerals on a property and that bears production costs — see also overriding royalty
2 : a specific concern or level of involvement (as financial involvement) especially that warrants recognition or causes bias had a right to intervene because of an interest in the litigation recused himself due to an interest in the matter — see also conflict of interest
3 : something that causes or warrants particular attention: as
a : a principle, purpose, or object of concern
compelling state interest
: a governmental interest (as in educating children or protecting the public) which is so important that it outweighs individual rights
public interest
1a : the general welfare and rights of the public that are to be recognized, protected, and advanced the attorney general has standing as a representative of the public interest
b : a specific public benefit or stake in something the public interest in controlling crime
2 : the concern or attention of the public a matter of widespread public interest
b : a right especially that arises from a constitution (as the U.S. Constitution) especially : such a right considered as an issue or claim created in or involving a particular situation or thing no person will be deprived of his interests in the absence of a proceeding in which he may present his case Marshall v. Jerrico, Inc., 446 U.S. 238 (1980)
liberty interest
: an interest in freedom from governmental deprivation of liberty especially without due process the liberty interest implicated by the needless discouragement of the exercise of the right to counselState v. Albert, 899 P.2d 103 (1995) (dissent)
privacy interest
: an interest in freedom from governmental intrusion into matters in which one has a reasonable expectation of privacy we have no privacy interest protected by the federal Constitution in limiting public or government access to knowledge of our financial transactions— L. H. Tribe
property interest
: an interest in freedom from governmental deprivation of property and sources of financial gain (as employment or a government benefit) without due process broadly : something (as a job or benefit) to which one has a legitimate claim of entitlement and that cannot be taken away without due process as distinguished from the unprotected object of a need, desire, or expectation
4 : the well-being of a person often used in pl. does not serve the child's best interests
5 : a charge for the use of another's money that is usually a percentage of the money being used an account yielding 7% interest paid back the loan with interest
compound interest
: interest computed on the sum of the original principal and accrued interest
legal interest
: a lawful interest rate and especially the highest rate allowed proposals to increase the legal interest on department store credit cards to 15%American Banker also : interest computed at such a rate awarded the defendant legal interest — compare usury
qualified residence interest
: interest that is deductible from adjusted gross income under federal tax law when it is paid on debt that is secured by one's residence and that was incurred for the acquisition, construction, improvement, or refinancing of the residence or through a home equity loan
simple interest
: interest computed on the principal of a loan or account

History and Etymology for interest

probably alteration of earlier interesse, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, to be between, make a difference, concern, from inter- between, among + esse to be

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