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

They were barred from business with subprime lenders, even for assignments that wouldn’t give Bank of America much exposure to the underlying loans, according to people familiar with the matter. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Bank of America Is Missing Out on Wall Street’s Boom," 13 Oct. 2018 During that same time frame, in Michigan, African Americans accounted for 52% of all subprime loans compared to just 19% of whites. Kat Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Democratic debates put a national spotlight on Detroit. But candidates ignored its issues.," 5 Aug. 2019 Yes, studies show that blacks received subprime loans at higher rates than whites. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Democrats May Inflate Another Housing Bubble," 9 July 2019 In the West, few top banking execs have personally been charged for their purported role in the subprime mortgage crisis, rate rigging, money laundering, and a host of other misdeeds. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "Malaysia says Goldman Sachs bosses should face jail for the bank’s alleged role in a corruption scandal," 9 Aug. 2019 Takada argued that the market's sudden swings between optimism and pessimism over the trade war resemble the mood swings last decade over how the subprime mortgage crisis would play out. Matt Egan, CNN, "Remember December? Markets could face another 'bearish black hole'," 7 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, teen shows that glamorize one-percenters, from both previous iterations of 90210 to The O.C. and Gossip Girl, have felt tone-deaf since the subprime crisis. Judy Berman, Time, "The 90210 Revival Is Weird as Hell—But At Least It's Not Boring," 6 Aug. 2019 He and several associates settled in 2015 with New Zealand’s financial regulator (pdf), which investigated Watson and others over misleading disclosures regarding a property investment vehicle during the subprime crisis. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The FBI thinks Long Island Iced Tea’s infamous pivot to blockchain was sweetened by insider trading," 25 July 2019 Ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, Fannie Mae posted an impressive 2018, with profits up an outstanding 548%, to just under $16 billion. Fortune, "Fannie Mae," 21 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

29 Sep 2019

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The first known use of subprime was in 1995

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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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