\ ˈlend How to pronounce lend (audio) \
lent\ ˈlent How to pronounce lent (audio) \; lending

Definition of lend

transitive verb

1a(1) : to give for temporary use on condition that the same or its equivalent be returned lend me your pen
(2) : to put at another's temporary disposal lent us their services
b : to let out (money) for temporary use on condition of repayment with interest The bank lent him the money for home improvements.
2a : to give the assistance or support of : afford, furnish a dispassionate and scholarly manner which lends great force to his criticismsThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
b : to adapt or apply (oneself) readily : accommodate a topic that lends itself admirably to class discussion

intransitive verb

: to make a loan

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Other Words from lend

lendable \ ˈlen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce lendable (audio) \ adjective
lender noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for lend



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Loan vs. Lend: Usage Guide

The verb loan is one of the words English settlers brought to America and continued to use after it had died out in Britain. Its use was soon noticed by British visitors and somewhat later by the New England literati, who considered it a bit provincial. It was flatly declared wrong in 1870 by a popular commentator, who based his objection on etymology. A later scholar showed that the commentator was ignorant of Old English and thus unsound in his objection, but by then it was too late, as the condemnation had been picked up by many other commentators. Although a surprising number of critics still voice objections, loan is entirely standard as a verb. You should note that it is used only literally; lend is the verb used for figurative expressions, such as "lending a hand" or "lending enchantment."

Examples of lend in a Sentence

I lent our ladder to the neighbors. The bank wouldn't lend us the money. Many banks won't lend to people with bad credit. They are glad to lend their support to worthy causes.
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Recent Examples on the Web So did the many scores of volunteers lending a hand. Leanne Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, "When the outside is out of reach, why not look within?," 22 May 2020 Anchorage’s citywide cleanup event, an annual rite of spring, is continuing through the end of May, giving volunteers plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand while still practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anchorage Daily News, "Orange bags and helping hands: 2 weeks left for Anchorage citywide cleanup," 15 May 2020 As this pandemic continues, pharmacists around the country are here to lend a hand, a calming voice, or an ear to all of our patients. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere (Wisconsin)," 14 May 2020 With Cousens' prodding, that sum has come from not just Fortune 500 companies and the NBA, but also normal people around the world who are eager to lend a hand. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Elizabeth Cousens Has Raised Almost $200 Million for the World Health Organization (Mostly) in Her Pajamas," 29 Apr. 2020 Seniors who volunteer throughout the region are sheltering in place, so the National Guard was called in to lend a hand at the valley’s regional food bank. Los Angeles Times, "What’s a city to do when half its population is in the crosshairs of coronavirus?," 28 Apr. 2020 From small regional air centers to big international airports, everyone is lending a helping hand during these trying times. Stephanie Bennett, Fox News, "Airplanes grounded by coronavirus find indefinite parking spaces in Southwest deserts," 22 Apr. 2020 He'll be remembered as kind and funny, a student of the Bible who lived his faith and was quick to lend a helping hand, Outcalt said. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, "Larry Dunkerly, who died of COVID-19, built life on foundation of family, faith, friends," 22 Apr. 2020 Hundreds of volunteers and first responders traveled from all over the state and country to lend a hand. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Remembering the Oklahoma City Bombing 25 Years Later: 'We Showed the Strength of Humanity'," 19 Apr. 2020

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

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

History and Etymology for lend

Middle English lenen, (15th century) lenden "to give, bestow, give for temporary use," going back to Old English lǣnan, derivative of lǣn "something lent, grant, gift" — more at loan entry 1

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Time Traveler for lend

Time Traveler

The first known use of lend was before the 12th century

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Statistics for lend

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lend. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for lend



Financial Definition of lender

What It Is

A lender is a creditor or any entity to which you owe money for services provided.

How It Works

If you borrow money from XYZ Bank, XYZ Bank becomes your lender. Lenders are creditors, but not all creditors are lenders. For example, utility companies, health clubs, phone companies and credit card issuers can all be creditors if you have contracts with them or if they have performed services for which you have not yet paid.

Some lenders are more senior than others. For example, if Company XYZ issues bonds, the bondholders are essentially lenders who are senior to Company XYZ's shareholders. This means that should Company XYZ go bankrupt, the bondholders are entitled to repayment before the shareholders are.

In many cases, companies have several different types of debt, and some of these lenders may be subordinate to others. Some lenders may even be unsecured, meaning that the company has not pledged any collateral.

Why It Matters

Lenders may sue to obtain access to accounts or other assets if the borrower has not paid. Lenders may also place liens on the borrower's assets, meaning that the borrower cannot sell the assets without paying the lender first.  In addition, lenders could report the problem to a credit bureau, which may place the item on the borrower's credit report.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce lend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lend

: to give (something) to (someone) to be used for a period of time and then returned
: to give (money) to someone who agrees to pay it back in the future
: to make (something) available to (someone or something)


\ ˈlend How to pronounce lend (audio) \
lent\ ˈlent \; lending

Kids Definition of lend

2 : to give usually for a time Volunteers lent help to flood victims.
3 : to add something that improves or makes more attractive Tomato lends color to a salad.

Other Words from lend

lender noun

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lent; lending

Legal Definition of lend

transitive verb

1 : to give for temporary use on condition that the same or its equivalent be returned
2 : to let out (money) for temporary use on condition of repayment with interest

intransitive verb

: to make a loan

Other Words from lend

lendable adjective
lender noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on lend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lend

Spanish Central: Translation of lend

Nglish: Translation of lend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lend

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