Basic+ Word of the Day: loan

loan (noun, verb) past tense: loaned LISTEN

"If you want to buy a car, we'll need a loan."

A loan is money given to someone temporarily. They need to pay interest (=an extra percentage of money) for its use.

  • Samantha paid for college with an education loan.
  • A house loan is called a mortgage.

A loan can be any item that is given temporarily with the understanding that it will be returned.

  • Phil's friend did not return his basketball until Phil reminded him that it was a loan.

To loan is to make a loan of.

  • It's raining. Can you loan me your umbrella?
  • When the bank loans you money, you have to pay it back.
  • The library loans books to residents of the city.

Don't confuse it with

lone: solitary or standing by itself. Example: “A lone flower was in her hair.”

Common uses

on loan: loaned for temporary use. Example: “When I visited the museum, my favorite painting wasn’t there; it was on loan to another museum.”

Related words

loaner: When you bring you car into the mechanic, they can sometimes loan you another car while your car is being repaired. The other car is called a loaner.

In pop culture

A payday loan is a loan, usually at a very high rate of interest, that you should pay back on payday. Here, John Oliver explains the dangers of payday loans.

There are other meanings of loan.

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