sub·​prime | \ ˈsəb-ˌprīm How to pronounce subprime (audio) \

Definition of subprime

1 : having or being an interest rate that is higher than a prime rate and is extended chiefly to a borrower who has a poor credit rating or is judged to be a potentially high risk for default (as due to low income) subprime mortgages a subprime loan
2 : extending or obtaining a subprime loan subprime lenders subprime borrowers

Examples of subprime in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Denis Marcadet of Vendôme Associés, a search firm in Paris, remembers humbled financiers weeping for hours in his office during the subprime meltdown. The Economist, "Take me to a leader Corporate headhunters are more powerful than ever," 6 Feb. 2020 There was a sense of confidence in the Indian economy, which was further bolstered when our banking system came out unscathed when the subprime lending crisis in the US had shaken many other economies in 2008. S. Gopikrishna Warrier, Quartz India, "Like unchecked growth, economic decline too can have environmental fallouts in India," 20 Jan. 2020 Countrywide was an industry juggernaut that did multiple types of mortgages and saw explosive growth until its collapse amid the subprime mortgage crisis. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Pontiac-based United Shore could steal No. 1 ranking from Quicken Loans," 17 Jan. 2020 His reforms represent an essential step toward relieving the pressure banks face to lend to politically favored, uncreditworthy entities—the policies that helped cause the subprime crisis. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, "The Plot to Politicize Banking," 14 Jan. 2020 The collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the devastation wreaked by the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction, the implosion of home values, all but finished off Detroit. John Gallagher,, "Departing Free Press columnist John Gallagher pens open letter to Detroiters," 19 Dec. 2019 States applied for the work requirement waivers since the economy hadn’t recovered from the subprime mortgage crisis. cleveland, "Indiana SNAP recipients won’t be booted from program by Trump’s work requirements: The Flyover," 10 Dec. 2019 Some good news out of Wisconsin: Since the subprime mortgage crisis that crashed the economy in 2008, the state has added nearly 72,000 jobs, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Paul Gores reports. cleveland, "States experience election problems less than a year from presidential contest: The Flyover," 3 Dec. 2019 Cruz left in November 2007, shortly after Morgan Stanley’s write-downs related to the subprime mortgage crisis. Fortune, "Wall Street Has Never Had a Woman CEO. Why Not?," 19 Sep. 2019

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

1995, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of subprime was in 1995

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subprime.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for subprime


sub·​prime | \ ˈsəb-ˌprīm How to pronounce subprime (audio) \

Legal Definition of subprime

1 : having or being an interest rate that is higher than a prime rate and is extended especially to low-income borrowers subprime mortgages
2 : extending or obtaining a subprime loan subprime lenders subprime borrowers

More from Merriam-Webster on subprime

Nglish: Translation of subprime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of subprime for Arabic Speakers

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