loan

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: money lent at interest
took out a loan to pay for the new car
b
: something lent usually for the borrower's temporary use
2
a
: the grant of temporary use
Can I have the loan of your car?
b
: the temporary duty of a person transferred to another job for a limited time
He had been on loan to the navy during the war.
3
: loanword
The word "nosh" is a loan from Yiddish.

loan

2 of 2

verb

loaned; loaning; loans
loanable adjective
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 loan in a Sentence

Noun He got a car loan. He'll need several more years to pay off the rest of the loan. She needed money, so she asked her friend for a loan. Verb The National Gallery has been kind enough to loan this painting to our museum. His mother loaned him the money to buy a new car. Can you loan me $20?
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Eleven days later, a private lender approved another loan for $17,052, according to the complaint. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 11 July 2024 Supreme Court scrutiny: A pair of Senate Democrats asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into Justice Clarence Thomas over travel gifts and a loan for a luxury car from wealthy donor friends. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 10 July 2024
Verb
If not, they can be loaned a bike and helmet for $20. Jalen Williams, Detroit Free Press, 4 July 2024 Since its founding in 2005, Kiva says more than two million people have loaned $1.9 billion to 4.7 million borrowers. Lorraine Mirabella, Baltimore Sun, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for loan 

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

Middle English lone "something lent or owing, divine gift," borrowed from Old Norse lán "something lent, fief," going back to Germanic *laihna- "something granted or lent" (whence also Old Frisian lēn "fief, benefice, something lent," Old Saxon lēhan "gift, fief," Old High German lēhan, lēn "something lent, feudal tenure, benefice," and, from a variant *laihni-, Old English lǣn "something lent, grant, gift"), noun derivative from the verb *līhwan- "to grant, lend" — more at delinquent entry 2

Note: Germanic *laihna- appears directly comparable with the Indo-Iranian s-stem represented by Vedic Sanskrit rékṇaḥ "inheritance, property," Avestan raēxənah- "inheritance," though it is uncertain if the Germanic word can also be derived from an s-stem. See note at delinquent entry 2.

Verb

derivative of loan entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1543, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of loan was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near loan

Cite this Entry

“Loan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loan. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

loan

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: money lent at interest
b
: something lent for a limited time
2
: permission to use something for a time

loan

2 of 2 verb

Legal Definition

loan

noun
1
a
: money lent at interest
b
: something lent usually for the borrower's temporary use
2
: a transfer or delivery of money from one party to another with the express or implied agreement that the sum will be repaid regardless of contingency and usually with interest
broadly : the furnishing of something to another party for temporary use with the agreement that it or its equivalent will be returned
the leasing of the car was termed a loan
bridge loan
: a short-term loan used as a means of financing a purchase or enterprise prior to obtaining other funds used a bridge loan to purchase a new home prior to the sale of the old one
conventional loan
: a loan for the purchase of real property that is secured by a first mortgage on the property rather than by any federal agency
demand loan
: a loan that is subject to repayment upon demand of the lender
home equity loan
: a loan or line of credit secured by the equity in one's home

called also equity loan, home equity line, home equity line of credit

see also qualified residence interest at interest sense 5
loan for consumption \ -​kən-​ˈsümp-​shən \
: a loan in which the borrower is obligated to return property of the same kind as that borrowed and consumed used chiefly in the civil law of Louisiana ; compare bailment, deposit, loan for use in this entry
loan for use
: a loan in which one party lends personal property to another with the understanding that the borrower will return the same property at a future time without compensation for its use : commodatum used chiefly in the civil law of Louisiana ; compare bailment, deposit, loan for consumption in this entry
participation loan
: a single loan in which two or more lenders participate
term loan
: a loan extended to a business with provisions for repayment according to a schedule of amortization and usually for a period of one to five years and sometimes fifteen years

More from Merriam-Webster on loan

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