subprime

adjective
sub·​prime | \ˈsəb-ˌprīm \

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

As demand grows, a combined gauge of both prime and subprime auto bonds shows spreads have dropped to the lowest 4th percentile of their seven-year ranges, according to Goldman Sachs research. Cecile Gutscher, Houston Chronicle, "Subprime auto defaults infect some bond pools, yet sales boom," 3 Feb. 2018 While subprime lending is declining, some banks are turning to consumers whose credit scores are neither high nor low. Christina Rexrode, WSJ, "Auto Lenders Ramp Up Risk to Win More Customers," 10 June 2018 The United States subprime crisis erupted in a night. New York Times, "What Keeps Xi Jinping Awake at Night," 11 May 2018 Barack Obama recognized Schneiderman as he was seated behind Michelle at his 2012 State of the Union, and announced that the New York attorney general would lead a group investigating fraud during the subprime mortgage crisis. David Freedlander, Daily Intelligencer, "Eric Schneiderman Is N," 8 May 2018 In November, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported increases in the delinquency rates of several consumer debt types, particularly subprime auto loans. David Lyons, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Plantation subprime car loan firm files for bankruptcy, blames Hurricane Irma," 27 Mar. 2018 This increases demand, pushes prices higher, and makes subprime lending even riskier. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Subprime mortgage bonds are making a comeback," 30 Mar. 2018 Years of loose lending have resulted in growing numbers of subprime borrowers falling behind on their bills. Bloomberg.com, "Smaller Subprime Auto Lenders Are Starting to Fold," 6 Apr. 2018 The company owns Credit One Bank, a mostly subprime credit-card issuer that’s the fastest-growing among the nation’s 15 largest card providers. Bloomberg.com, "Bashful Billionaires Battle to Own NFL Team," 12 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.

See More

First Known Use of subprime

1995, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about subprime

Statistics for subprime

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for subprime

The first known use of subprime was in 1995

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for subprime

subprime

adjective
sub·​prime | \ˈsəb-ˌprīm \

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

Comments on subprime

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

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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