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interest expense
interest group
interest one's self
Interest policy
interest rate

Interest definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

IN'TEREST, v.t. [L. inter and esse.]
1. To concern; to affect; to excite emotion or passion, usually in favor,but sometimes against a person or thing. A narration of suffering interests us in favor of the sufferer. We are interested in the story or in the fate of the sufferer. We are interested to know the result, issue or event of an enterprise. It is followed by in or for. We are interested in the narration,but for the sufferer.
2. To give a share in. Christ, by his atonement, has interested believers in the blessings of the covenant of grace.
3. To have a share.
We are not all interested in the public funds, but we are all interested in the happiness of a free government.
4. To engage; as, to interest one in our favor.
To interest one's self, is to take a share or concern in.
IN'TEREST, n. Concern; advantage; good; as private interest; public interest.
Divisions hinder the common interest and public good.
1. Influence over others. They had now lost their interest at court.
He knew his interest sufficient to procure the office.
2. Share; portion; part; participation in value. He has parted with his interest in the stocks. He has an interest in a manufactory of cotton goods.
3. Regard to private profit.
'Tis interest calls off all her sneaking train.
4. Premium paid for the use of money; the profit per cent derived from money lent, or property used by another person, or from debts remaining unpaid. Commercial states have a legal rate of interest. Debts on book bear an interest after the expiration of the credit. Courts allow interest in many cases where it is not stipulated. A higher rate of interest than that which the law allows, is called usury.
Simple interest is that which arises from the principal sum only.
Compound interest is that which arises from the principal with the interest added; interest on interest.
5. Any surplus advantage.
With all speed,
you shall have your desire with interest.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something; "an interest in music" [syn: interest, involvement]
2: a reason for wanting something done; "for your sake"; "died for the sake of his country"; "in the interest of safety"; "in the common interest" [syn: sake, interest]
3: the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.); "they said nothing of great interest"; "primary colors can add interest to a room" [syn: interest, interestingness] [ant: uninterestingness]
4: a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of the amount borrowed; "how much interest do you pay on your mortgage?"
5: (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something; "they have interests all over the world"; "a stake in the company's future" [syn: interest, stake]
6: (usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims; "the iron interests stepped up production" [syn: interest, interest group]
7: a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly); "sailing is her favorite pastime"; "his main pastime is gambling"; "he counts reading among his interests"; "they criticized the boy for his limited pursuits" [syn: pastime, interest, pursuit] v
1: excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of [ant: bore, tire]
2: be on the mind of; "I worry about the second Germanic consonant shift" [syn: concern, interest, occupy, worry]
3: be of importance or consequence; "This matters to me!" [syn: matter to, interest]

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle English, probably alteration of earlier interesse, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, to be between, make a difference, concern, from inter- + esse to be more at is Date: 15th century 1. a. (1) right, title, or legal share in something (2) participation in advantage and responsibility b. business, company 2. a. a charge for borrowed money generally a percentage of the amount borrowed b. the profit in goods or money that is made on invested capital c. an excess above what is due or expected <returned the insults with interest> 3. advantage, benefit; also self-interest 4. special interest 5. a. a feeling that accompanies or causes special attention to an object or class of objects ; concern b. something that arouses such attention c. a quality in a thing arousing interest II. transitive verb Date: 1608 1. to induce or persuade to participate or engage 2. to engage the attention or arouse the interest of

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 a concern; curiosity (have no interest in fishing). b a quality exciting curiosity or holding the attention (this magazine lacks interest). 2 a subject, hobby, etc., in which one is concerned (his interests are gardening and sport). 3 advantage or profit, esp. when financial (it is in your interest to go; look after your own interests). 4 money paid for the use of money lent, or for not requiring the repayment of a debt. 5 (usu. foll. by in) a a financial stake (in an undertaking etc.). b a legal concern, title, or right (in property). 6 a a party or group having a common interest (the brewing interest). b a principle in which a party or group is concerned. 7 the selfish pursuit of one's own welfare, self-interest. --v.tr. 1 excite the curiosity or attention of (your story interests me greatly). 2 (usu. foll. by in) cause (a person) to take a personal interest or share (can I interest you in a holiday abroad?). 3 (as interested adj.) having a private interest; not impartial or disinterested (an interested party). Phrases and idioms: at interest (of money borrowed) on the condition that interest is payable. declare an (or one's) interest make known one's financial etc. interests in an undertaking before it is discussed. in the interest (or interests) of as something that is advantageous to. lose interest become bored or boring. with interest with increased force etc. (returned the blow with interest). Derivatives: interestedly adv. interestedness n. Etymology: ME, earlier interesse f. AF f. med.L, alt. app. after OF interest, both f. L interest, 3rd sing. pres. of interesse matter, make a difference (as INTER-, esse be)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Interest In"ter*est, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Interested; p. pr. & vb. n. Interesting.] [From interess'd, p. p. of the older form interess, fr. F. int['e]resser, L. interesse. See Interest, n.] 1. To engage the attention of; to awaken interest in; to excite emotion or passion in, in behalf of a person or thing; as, the subject did not interest him; to interest one in charitable work. To love our native country . . . to be interested in its concerns is natural to all men. --Dryden. A goddess who used to interest herself in marriages. --Addison. 2. To be concerned with or engaged in; to affect; to concern; to excite; -- often used impersonally. [Obs.] Or rather, gracious sir, Create me to this glory, since my cause Doth interest this fair quarrel. --Ford. 3. To cause or permit to share. [Obs.] The mystical communion of all faithful men is such as maketh every one to be interested in those precious blessings which any one of them receiveth at God's hands. --Hooker. Syn: To concern; excite; attract; entertain; engage; occupy; hold.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Interest In"ter*est, n. [OF. interest, F. int['e]r[^e]t, fr. L. interest it interests, is of interest, fr. interesse to be between, to be difference, to be importance; inter between + esse to be; cf. LL. interesse usury. See Essence.] 1. Excitement of feeling, whether pleasant or painful, accompanying special attention to some object; concern. Note: Interest expresses mental excitement of various kinds and degrees. It may be intellectual, or sympathetic and emotional, or merely personal; as, an interest in philosophical research; an interest in human suffering; the interest which an avaricious man takes in money getting. So much interest have I in thy sorrow. --Shak.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(interests, interesting, interested) Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. 1. If you have an interest in something, you want to learn or hear more about it. There has been a lively interest in the elections in the last two weeks... His parents tried to discourage his interest in music, but he persisted... Food was of no interest to her at all. N-UNCOUNT: also a N 2. Your interests are the things that you enjoy doing. Encourage your child in her interests and hobbies even if they're things that you know little about... N-COUNT 3. If something interests you, it attracts your attention so that you want to learn or hear more about it or continue doing it. That passage interested me because it seems to parallel very closely what you're doing in the novel... It may interest you to know that Miss Woods, the housekeeper, witnessed the attack. VERB: V n, it V n to-inf 4. If you are trying to persuade someone to buy or do something, you can say that you are trying to interest them in it. In the meantime I can't interest you in a new car, I suppose?... VERB: V n in n/-ing 5. If something is in the interests of a particular person or group, it will benefit them in some way. Did those directors act in the best interests of their club?... N-COUNT: usu pl, usu in N with poss 6. You can use interests to refer to groups of people who you think use their power or money to benefit themselves. The government accused unnamed 'foreign interests' of inciting the trouble... N-COUNT: usu pl, supp N 7. A person or organization that has interests in a company or in a particular type of business owns shares in this company or this type of business. (BUSINESS) Disney will retain a 51 percent controlling interest in the venture. N-COUNT: usu with supp 8. If a person, country, or organization has an interest in a possible event or situation, they want that event or situation to happen because they are likely to benefit from it. The West has an interest in promoting democratic forces in Eastern Europe... N-COUNT: usu N in n/-ing 9. Interest is extra money that you receive if you have invested a sum of money. Interest is also the extra money that you pay if you have borrowed money or are buying something on credit. Does your current account pay interest?... N-UNCOUNT: oft N n 10. see also interested, interesting, compound interest, self-interest, vested interest 11. If you do something in the interests of a particular result or situation, you do it in order to achieve that result or maintain that situation. ...a call for all businessmen to work together in the interests of national stability. to have someone's interests at heart: see heart PHRASE: N inflects, PHR n

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

in'-ter-est (neshekh, mashsha'; tokos): The Hebrew word neshekh is from a root which means "to bite"; thus interest is "something bitten off." The other word, mashsa', means "lending on interest." The Greek term is from the root tikto, "to produce" or "beget," hence, interest is something begotten or produced by money. The Hebrew words are usually translated "usury," but this meant the same as interest, all interest being reckoned as usury.

Long before Abraham's time money had been loaned at a fixed rate of interest in Babylonia and almost certainly in Egypt. The Code of Hammurabi gives regulations regarding the lending and borrowing of money, the usual interest being 20 percent. Sometimes it was only 11 2/3 and 13 1/3, as shown by contract tablets. In one case, if the loan was not paid in two months, 18 per cent interest would be charged. Corn (grain), dates, onions, etc., were loaned at interest. Thus Moses and Israel would be familiar with commercial loans and interest. In Israel there was no system of credit or commercial loans in Moses' time and after. A poor man borrowed because he was poor. The law of Moses (Ex 22:25) forbade loaning at interest. There was to be no creditor and no taker of interest among them (Le 25:36,37). De permits them to lend on interest to a foreigner (De 23:19,20), but not to a brother Israelite. That this was considered the proper thing in Israel for centuries is seen in Ps 15:5, while Pr 28:8 implies that it was an unusual thing, interest being generally exacted and profit made. Ezekiel condemns it as a heinous sin (Eze 18:8,13,17) and holds up the ideal of righteousness as not taking interest (22:12). Isa 24:2 implies that it was a business in that age, the lender and borrower being social types. Jeremiah implies that there was not always the best feeling between lenders and borrowers (15:10). According to Ne 5:7,10, rich Jews were lending to others and exacting heavy interest. Nehemiah condemns such conduct and forbids its continuance, citing himself as an example of lending without interest. The lenders restored 1 percent of that exacted.

In the New Testament, references to interest occur in the parable of the Pounds (Lu 19:23) and of the Talents (Mt 25:27). Here the men were expected to put their master's money out at interest, and condemnation followed the failure to do so. Thus the principle of receiving interest is not condemned in the Old Testament, only it was not to be taken from a brother Israelite. In the New Testament it is distinctly encouraged.

See also USURY.

J. J. Reeve

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. v. a. 1. Concern, affect, touch, be of importance to. 2. Engage, enlist, attract. II. n. 1. Good, benefit, profit, weal, advantage. 2. Share, portion, part, participation. 3. Concern, regard, sympathy, pleased attention. 4. Authority, influence. 5. Selfishness, self-interest, private interest. 6. Premium (for the use of money), profit (from money loaned).

Moby Thesaurus

absolute interest, absorb, absorption, accent, accrued dividends, accumulated dividends, acquisitiveness, activities, activity, advantage, advocacy, aegis, affair, affairs, affect, affect the interest, agacerie, allotment, allowance, allure, allurement, amusement, animate, answer to, appeal, appertain to, applicability, application, apply to, appositeness, appurtenance, arouse, attention, attentiveness, attract, attraction, attractiveness, auspices, authority, autism, avail, avocation, aye, backing, bag, bait, bank rate, be attractive, bear on, bear upon, bearing, beckon, beguilement, beguiling, behalf, behoof, belong to, benefit, benison, bewitchery, bewitchment, bias, big end, bigger half, birthright, bit, bite, blandishment, blessing, boon, breakaway group, bribe, bring, budget, business, cajolery, camp, campaign, capital gains, captivate, captivation, capture, care, careerism, carrot, carry, cash dividend, catch, catch up in, cathexis, caucus, cause, championship, charisma, charity, charm, charmingness, chunk, claim, cleanup, clear profit, come-hither, commerce, commission, commitment, common, compensatory interest, compound interest, con, concern, concernment, conjugal right, connect, connection, consequence, consequentiality, consideration, contingent, contingent interest, convenience, correspond to, countenance, crusade, cumulative dividend, curiosity, curious mind, curiousness, cut, deal, deal with, decide, demand, destiny, determine, discount rate, discrimination, dispose, diversion, dividend, dividends, divine right, division, doing, dole, drag, draw, draw in, drive, droit, due, earnings, easement, ego trip, egotism, embarrass, emphasis, employ, employment, enchantment, encouragement, end, engage, engagement, engross, engrossment, enlist, enmesh, entangle, enterprise, entertainment, enthrallment, enthusiasm, enticement, entrapment, equal share, equitable interest, equity, estate, ethnic group, excellence, excite, excite interest, excitement, exorbitant interest, extra dividend, faction, faculty, faith, fascinate, fascination, fate, favor, favoritism, fetch, fillip, filthy lucre, fire, flirtation, forbidden fruit, fosterage, function, gain, gains, germaneness, get, get to do, gettings, ghoulishness, glamour, gleanings, good, goodwill, graspingness, great cause, greed, gross, gross interest, gross profit, guidance, half, halver, have connection with, helping, high order, high rank, hoard, hobby, hold, holding, implicate, import, importance, inalienable right, incentive, incite, incitement, inclination, incline, income, individualism, induce, inducement, inequality, infect, influence, inquiring mind, inquisitiveness, inside track, interest group, interest in, interest rate, interestedness, interests, interim dividend, intrigue, inveiglement, investment, invitation, invite, involve, involve in, involvement, issue, itch for knowledge, job, killing, kindle, labor, lead, leaning, liaise with, lifework, limitation, link with, lively interest, lookout, lot, lucrative interest, lucre, lure, magnetism, makings, mark, mass movement, materiality, matter, matter of interest, measure, meddlesomeness, meed, melon, mental acquisitiveness, merit, mess, minority group, modicum, moiety, moment, morbid curiosity, mortgage points, move, movement, narcissism, natural right, nay, neat profit, nepotism, net, net interest, net profit, no, nosiness, note, notice, occupation, officiousness, offshoot, one-sidedness, optional dividend, paper profits, paramountcy, part, parti pris, partiality, participation, partisanism, partisanship, party, passion, pastime, patronage, payment, pelf, penal interest, percentage, perk, perks, perquisite, personal aims, personal ambition, personal desires, personalism, persuade, persuasive, pertain to, pertinence, phony dividend, pickings, piece, pique, plaque, plum, point, political party, portion, possessiveness, power, precedence, preeminence, preference, preferential treatment, premium, prerogative, prescription, pressure group, presumptive right, pretense, pretension, prevail upon, price, price of money, primacy, principle, priority, privatism, pro, proceeding, proceeds, procure, profit, profits, prompt, proper claim, property, property right, proportion, prosperity, provocation, provoke, prurience, prurient interest, prying, pull, pursuit, quantum, quicken, quota, rake-off, rate, rate of interest, ration, reason for being, receipts, refer to, reference, regard, regular dividend, relate to, relatedness, relaxation, relevance, remoteness, respect, return, returns, reward, right, right of entry, scopophilia, scrutiny, seconding, sect, seducement, seduction, seductiveness, segment, self-absorption, self-admiration, self-advancement, self-centeredness, self-consideration, self-containment, self-devotion, self-esteem, self-importance, self-indulgence, self-interest, self-interestedness, self-jealousy, self-occupation, self-pleasing, self-seeking, self-serving, self-solicitude, self-sufficiency, selfishness, selfism, service, settlement, sex appeal, share, side, significance, silent majority, simple interest, slice, small share, snare, snaring, special dividend, special favor, special interest, splinter, splinter group, sponsorship, stake, stimulate, stimulation, stimulative, stimulus, stock, stock dividend, store, stress, strict settlement, suck into, suction, summon, superiority, supremacy, sway, sweetener, sweetening, sympathy, take, take-in, talk into, tangle, tantalization, tantalize, tease, tempt, temptation, the affirmative, the negative, thing, thirst for knowledge, tickle, tie in with, titillate, title, touch, touch upon, transaction, treat of, trust, tutelage, undertaking, undetachment, undispassionateness, unneutrality, use, usury, value, vested interest, vested right, vocal minority, voyeurism, wealth, weight, welfare, well-being, whet, whet the appetite, wing, winning ways, winnings, winsomeness, witchery, wooing, work, world of good, worth


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