loan shark


Definition of loan shark

: one who lends money to individuals at exorbitant rates of interest

Examples of loan shark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Adal López, who ran Ooyala’s operations in Guadalajara, now runs Kueski, his own financial technology startup that provides small online loans—an alternative to both banks and loan sharks. Andrew Selee, Smithsonian, "How Guadalajara Reinvented Itself as a Technology Hub," 13 June 2018 By the early 1960s, DiFronzo was identified by Chicago police as an enforcer and collector for a loan shark gang on the West Side. Bob Goldsborough,, "Reputed Chicago Outfit boss John DiFronzo dies at 89," 30 May 2018 What kind of predatory loan shark of a dealer—25 percent every day? Anne Branigin, The Root, "Parents Big Mad Over High School Math Teacher’s Drug-Referencing Homework," 6 Feb. 2018 Democrats warned poor workers could go to street-level loan sharks if payday loans weren’t available, and said payday borrowers weren’t unaware of the costly interest rates. Gray Rohrer,, "Lawmakers back longer, higher-interest payday loans," 18 Jan. 2018 There have been whispers of loan sharks and mafia connections and Continent -wide arrest warrants. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Michael Eisner Sketches a Happy Ending for Portsmouth F.C.," 11 Jan. 2018 Prosecutors describe Hallinan — a 76-year-old former investment banker, a Wharton grad and a Villanova resident — as a loan shark, and have charged him with violating laws more often associated with busting mobsters. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Main Line payday lending pioneer faces trial on racketeering charges," 26 Sep. 2017 The restaurant/bar that Clayton owned with his brother Timmy has gone belly-up—as has Timmy, an addict—and a loan shark wants $75,000 from him, today. James Parker, The Atlantic, "How Michael Clayton Presaged 2017," 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loan shark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of loan shark

1905, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about loan shark

Share loan shark

Statistics for loan shark

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for loan shark

The first known use of loan shark was in 1905

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for loan shark

loan shark


English Language Learners Definition of loan shark

disapproving : someone who lends money to people and charges a very high rate of interest

Comments on loan shark

What made you want to look up loan shark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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