Definition of collateral in English:



  • 1mass noun Something pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default.

    ‘she put her house up as collateral for the bank loan’
    • ‘Unlike middle-class homeowners, poor people usually don't have assets to put up as collateral for loans.’
    • ‘When you sell the property, be sure to have the buyer pledge the property as collateral by signing a Deed of Trust.’
    • ‘Legally defensible property rights are essential to the process of capital creation, in that property can be used as collateral on loans to grow a small business.’
    • ‘By the stroke of a government pen and without having invested one single cent, the Larrakia now have a major asset to use as collateral for a bank loan.’
    • ‘Their first concern will be to minimize their risk against loan default by requiring collateral or restrictive covenants.’
    • ‘After the village gained experience with the grant-making process, community trust funds were established to provide credit to people who had no collateral to get bank loans.’
    • ‘The freight cars will be pledged as special collateral for the bond issue, Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Nikola Yankov said.’
    • ‘CMAs are also required to maintain inventories of each class and grade of grain at least equal to the quantity pledged as loan collateral.’
    • ‘Because most of its hard assets, such as airplanes, already are pledged as loan collateral, the company has said that it will not seek additional investors at this time.’
    • ‘Those who do not want to sell the land to the government are free to do what they want with it, such as using the land as collateral for bank loans.’
    • ‘When the mortgage came due this year, the lender asked the worker-landlords to pledge personal assets as collateral against a new five-year loan.’
    • ‘Not only do property rights help people borrow more easily, because property can be pledged as formal collateral; they also create information needed by markets.’
    • ‘Without title deeds farmers have had no collateral to secure bank loans, no capital to use to put crops in and cope with inflation at 505 per cent.’
    • ‘Everything checks out and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.’
    • ‘It may accept corporate debt, private bank loans and mortgage securities as collateral for the Fed's direct lending to banks - a way of pushing bankers to lend more generously to business.’
    • ‘He had pledged his shares as collateral for some $100 million in personal loans from three commercial banks.’
    • ‘The airline couldn't secure an outside lender because almost all its assets are being used as collateral for existing loans.’
    • ‘Skyrocketing oil prices made Mexican reserves vastly more valuable than before and provided collateral for international loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars.’
    • ‘Though the Reserve Bank of India guidelines say that educational loans up to Rs 4 lakh require no collateral, all banks assess the applicant's repayment capacity.’
    • ‘Bonds that pledge no collateral are called debentures.’
    security, surety, guarantee, guaranty, pledge, bond, assurance, insurance, indemnity, indemnification, pawn, backing
    View synonyms
  • 2A person having the same ancestor as another but through a different line.

    • ‘That left the old lady as the sole survivor of the family, the collaterals being very distant.’
    • ‘A few days later, two powerful Sandhanvalia Sardars, Atar Singh and Ajit Singh, collaterals of the royal contenders for the throne, arrived in Lahore and took over control.’


  • 1Additional but subordinate; secondary.

    ‘the collateral meanings of a word’
    • ‘A cultural system that relies on short-term victories of one side over another does not effectively take into account the future of collateral effects and long deferred consequences.’
    • ‘Employment discrimination is one of many collateral consequences that individuals with felony convictions face, including many people with non-violent drug offenses.’
    • ‘Our findings suggested that patient/informant agreement was not related to whether collateral information was permitted to be revealed to patients.’
    • ‘These collateral consequences are also heavily race- and class-biased.’
    • ‘The applicant has instituted in relation to this matter a great deal of expensive, prolonged, collateral litigation in none of which has he been successful.’
    • ‘To ensure the proper result with little or no unintended collateral effects, we need greater precision with speed.’
    • ‘I don't even think we have fully assessed all of the collateral consequences that are going to have to be dealt with.’
    • ‘Additionally, there is a collateral benefit to listing your site in a directory.’
    • ‘They returned fire and called in air support, which destroyed the building, killing one militant and resulting in ‘up to nine collateral deaths’.’
    • ‘In this sense modern warfare is indeed un-Islamic because it produces inevitably collateral damages including loss of innocent life and long-term degradation to the environment.’
    • ‘One reason we agreed to defer prosecution was to minimize the collateral consequences of an indictment, which would have been borne by innocent employees and investors.’
    • ‘The second feature is that this collateral challenge was made in the course of a prosecution.’
    • ‘Mrs Foden has opened a further line of collateral attack by bringing two sets of proceedings against the Lord Chancellor's Department.’
    • ‘Trials often descend into desperate searches for collateral information, such as the colour of paint, whether a bicycle was in a yard or whether a school was open that year.’
    • ‘Technology has legitimized precision warfare and criminalized collateral death and destruction resulting from the use of lethal force.’
    • ‘There are collateral risks, albeit of a different character, whether the Inquiry is held in Londonderry or on the mainland.’
    • ‘Then comes an assessment of collateral effects and unintended consequences.’
    • ‘Why do you distinguish between what I might call questions going to the primary purpose of the Commission and these ones that go to what you would regard as a sort of collateral or secondary purpose?’
    • ‘You'll not only be strengthening the CPA profession, you'll reap the following collateral gains as well.’
    • ‘That section states that the collateral benefits must not be taken into account in assessing the award of damages in court and as a result, victims of personal injuries may receive compensation from two sources for the same loss.’
    incidental, accidental, unintended, secondary, subordinate, ancillary, collateral, concomitant, accompanying, contingent, resulting, resultant, consequential, derived, derivative
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1euphemistic Denoting inadvertent casualties and destruction in civilian areas in the course of military operations.
      ‘munitions must be able to destroy the target without causing collateral damage’
      ‘collateral casualties’
      • ‘In conducting it, care should be taken to avoid collateral damage.’
      • ‘Today, the most significant overall restraint on military operations concerns the avoidance of collateral damage.’
      • ‘Everyone else was concerned about civilian collateral damage.’
      • ‘They saw that we care about limiting collateral damage.’
      • ‘Therefore, an attacker must not employ weapons that would cause excessive collateral damage.’
      • ‘The Luftwaffe staff drew special attention to this collateral benefit in several of its tactical memoranda.’
      • ‘This aerial barrage had the collateral effect of probably obliterating the remains of any Americans who were left on the mountain.’
      • ‘The enemy threat was eliminated in a matter of minutes and there was no collateral damage.’
      • ‘The quick responsive action of MSgt Henley prevented what could have easily been a major fire with possible significant collateral damage.’
      • ‘We need to think of collateral damage more in terms of innocent civilians being killed, rather than reconstructing buildings used by the enemy.’
      • ‘In such circumstances, the attacking elements will be required to expose themselves to enemy direct fire to engage them without undue collateral damage.’
      • ‘The reduction in collateral damage (indirect costs) may have the same effect.’
      • ‘To ensure the proper result with little or no unintended collateral effects, we need greater precision with speed.’
      • ‘Conversely, attacks with permanent collateral effects are illegal.’
      • ‘Inert squash head ammunition would also be useful for punching holes in walls with minimal collateral damage.’
      • ‘There are, however, limits on such incidental or collateral damage.’
      • ‘Consequently, an attacker who acts reasonably in bombing an otherwise legitimate target has a defense against the charge that excessive collateral damage occurred.’
      • ‘Finally, munitions must be able to destroy the target without causing undue collateral damage.’
      • ‘Any response must consider the possible collateral damage potentially caused by such retaliation.’
      • ‘Physical collateral damage can always be fixed, or structures replaced.’
  • 2Descended from the same stock but by a different line.

    ‘a collateral descendant of Robert Burns’
    • ‘As for that of Herve de Lanrivain, I had only to apply to his collateral descendant for its subsequent details.’
    • ‘Support is legally prescribed and required along descent, ascent, and collateral lines.’
    • ‘The line from him to his eldest son and then to his eldest son represents the main line of kinship, while other lines represent collateral lines.’
    • ‘The coffeepot returned to the United States in the twentieth century and came to the society as a gift of collateral Robinson descendants in 1972.’
    • ‘Fulton may have been a collateral descendant of the steamboat inventor, but he never bothered to check the genealogical connection.’
    • ‘Direct or collateral relatives up to fourth line, including relatives by adoption, will be allowed to become live organ donors.’
    • ‘Similarly, James Logan, his descendants, and their collateral families are still being explored.’
    • ‘A major consequence of this was the drastic reduction of the casato's collateral lines (and, in the long run, the demographic decline of the aristocracy).’
    • ‘It is an Extended Family Tree - showing all the collateral branches of a family, i.e. all the descendants.’
  • 3Situated side by side; parallel.

    ‘collateral veins’
    • ‘Manual drainage opens nonfunctioning lymphatic and venous connections and directs lymph through collateral vessels to adjacent normal lymphatics.’
    • ‘The ulnar collateral ligament connects the humerus and ulna - two of the bones that come together in the elbow.’
    • ‘When such techniques are adhered to, the risk of trauma to the radial artery and subsequent thrombosis is reduced even when collateral circulation in the hand is reduced.’
    • ‘Lateral collateral ligament injuries result from a medial-to-lateral force on the knee, while medial collateral ligament injuries result from a force in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘Kuroda and Sakamaki reported on 13 patients with ulnar collateral ligament tears and no associated abnormalities.’
    • ‘The use of contrast enhanced CT is much more specific and can demonstrate collateral veins.’
    • ‘The accuracy of the method of diagnostic imaging of the soft tissue structures around the elbow, particularly the ulnar collateral ligament, continues to raise considerable debate.’
    • ‘The repeated valgus stress involved in such overload can cause attenuation or rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament and result in functional medial elbow pain and instability.’
    • ‘The patella and its supporting structures, bilateral joint lines and collateral ligaments are palpated for tenderness, crepitus and localized swelling.’
    • ‘No other significant sex differences in intraarticular or collateral injuries were observed.’
    • ‘The MCL (medial collateral ligament) controls the knee's movement from side to side.’
    • ‘The bursa is located distal to the joint line in close proximity and posterior to the medial collateral ligament.’
    • ‘Patients with associated PCL injuries were excluded, but those with concomitant meniscal and collateral ligament injuries were allowed to participate.’
    • ‘On physical examination, the patient with medial collateral ligament injury has point tenderness at the medial joint line.’
    • ‘Beyond this point the radiant exposure is too high to allow the heat generated to dissipate into the bulk on a compatible timescale, and the result is collateral perivascular damage.’
    • ‘The dorsal artery of the index finger may similarly, though more rarely, supply one or both of the collateral arteries of the adjacent sides of the thumb and index finger.’
    • ‘The usual finding is an area of obliteration in the portal vein surrounded by a large number of collateral vessels.’
    side by side, aligned, collateral, equidistant
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (as an adjective): from medieval Latin collateralis, from col- ‘together with’ + lateralis (from latus, later- ‘side’). collateral (sense 1 of the noun) (originally US) is from the phrase collateral security, denoting something pledged in addition to the main obligation of a contract.