lend

verb

lent ˈlent How to pronounce lend (audio) ; lending

transitive verb

1
a(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.
2
a
: 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
lendable adjective
lender noun
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.
Recent Examples on the Web The ingredient list is simple, but the secret to these squares is brown butter, which lends nutty flavor and attractive color to a wide variety of sweet and savory foods. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2024 This lends urgency to the need for policies and incentives that ensure AI systems empower rather than endanger human creatives. Elijah Clark, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 This lends the film a semi-secretive sense of intimacy within a sterile and oppressive space. Peter Debruge, Variety, 22 Feb. 2024 Beijing first lent two pandas to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington in 1972. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Being in a public relationship also lends itself more easily to public support. USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 But lending to Trump carries its own special risks. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, 17 Feb. 2024 What are some of the key classifications that lend themselves to good private labels? Walter Loeb, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Giant pandas on loan to zoos in Memphis and Washington, D.C., were returned to China last year, leaving some fearing that China would stop lending pandas to American zoos for awhile. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lend.' 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

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

Note: The -d- in late Middle English lenden, continued into Modern English, was imported from the past lende and the past participle lent, apparently by association with verbs such as bend entry 1, send entry 1, wend, where the dental consonant was part of the base form.

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near lend

Cite this Entry

“Lend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lend. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

lend

verb
lent ˈlent How to pronounce lend (audio) ; lending
1
a
: to give to another for temporary use with the understanding that it or a like thing will be returned
lend a book
b
: to let out (money) for temporary use with the understanding that it will be paid back with interest
banks and other lending institutions
2
: to give usually for a time
lend assistance
3
: to have the quality or nature that makes suitable
a voice that lends itself to opera
lender noun

Legal Definition

lend

verb
lent; lending

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
lendable adjective
lender noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lend

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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