usury

noun
usu·​ry | \ ˈyü-zhə-rē How to pronounce usury (audio) , ˈyüzh-rē \
plural usuries

Definition of usury

1 : the lending of money with an interest charge for its use especially : the lending of money at exorbitant interest rates
2 : an unconscionable or exorbitant rate or amount of interest specifically : interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money
3 archaic : interest

Examples of usury in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Your problem with the credit-card companies is usury rates, from your position. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Joe Biden Keeps Everyone Guessing On Wall Street Regulation," 13 Oct. 2020 But usury, officially forbidden by the medieval Church, was still practiced, particularly by monks. Eula Biss, The New Yorker, "A House Is Not a Home," 30 Aug. 2020 The state also has a robust financial and community banking industry, spurred in part by usury law changes that eliminated the caps on interest rates and attracted the likes of Citibank and other credit card issuers. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Why unemployment claims are so low in South Dakota, Utah and Nebraska," 12 May 2020 According to the High Board of Religious Affairs, interest on home loans doesn’t violate Islam’s proscriptions against usury as long as the loan comes from a Turkish state bank and goes to buy a home in a government housing project. Cagan Koc, Bloomberg.com, "Turkish Clerics Defy 1,400 Years of Edicts With Home Loan U-Turn," 10 May 2020 When the plague struck Barcelona, both explanations were used, about usury and the killing of Christ. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How Anti-Semitism Rises on the Left and Right," 3 Jan. 2020 The tribal connection, which critics say is designed to try to skirt state usury laws, isn't new. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "AG Nessel sues online tribal lender over 'predatory' lending practices," 31 Oct. 2019 The cameras made the evils of usury, stealing and smuggling visible. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019 The cameras made the evils of usury, stealing and smuggling visible. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for usury

Middle English usurie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin usuria, alteration of Latin usura, from usus, past participle of uti to use

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The first known use of usury was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Usury.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/usury. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for usury

usury

noun

English Language Learners Definition of usury

formal + disapproving : the practice of lending money and requiring the borrower to pay a high amount of interest

usury

noun
usu·​ry | \ ˈyü-zhə-rē How to pronounce usury (audio) \

Legal Definition of usury

1 : the lending of money at exorbitant interest rates specifically : the crime of charging or contracting to charge an unlawfully high rate of interest
2 : a rate or amount of interest charged in usury — compare legal interest at interest sense 5

History and Etymology for usury

Medieval Latin usuria interest, lending at exorbitant interest, alteration of Latin usura use, interest (i.e., sum paid for use of money), from usus use

More from Merriam-Webster on usury

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about usury

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