subprime

adjective

sub·​prime ˈsəb-ˌprīm How to pronounce subprime (audio)
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 According to Bloomberg News, lenders sold bonds containing $76 billion in subprime loans in 2021 and 2022. Ryan Gabrielson, ProPublica, 13 Sep. 2023 The years following the Global Financial Crisis Throughout the duration, and in the aftermath, of the Global Financial Crisis, home prices fell across the country, as the housing market crashed following the collapse of subprime mortgages. Alena Botros, Fortune, 8 Jan. 2024 In the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis 15 years ago, large Wall Street investment firms began entering the single-family home rental market en masse. Liam Dillon, Los Angeles Times, 8 Jan. 2024 In new research, the company found that pay-in-installment loans attract more non-prime (including subprime and near prime) credit applicants than traditional banking products and that the users are more than twice as likely to be under 35. Cora Lewis, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Dec. 2023 The highest mortgage rates in 23 years are dragging down home sales to their lowest levels since the subprime crisis period, leaving only the most committed buyers in the market. WSJ, 17 Oct. 2023 That would be the lowest number since the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008—a year that also saw the unemployment rate spike to nearly 8% and millions of Americans’ home equity evaporate. Bysydney Lake, Fortune, 16 Oct. 2023 Few worried that derivatives such as synthetic credit debt obligations would result in massive leverage on bank balance sheets tied to shaky subprime mortgages. Marc Cooper, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023 Nearly one in three (31%) of subprime private label accounts make just the minimum payment. Matt Egan, CNN, 25 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subprime.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1995, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of subprime was in 1995

Dictionary Entries Near subprime

Cite this Entry

“Subprime.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subprime. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition

subprime

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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