Definition of mortgage in English:



  • 1A legal agreement by which a bank, building society, etc. lends money at interest in exchange for taking title of the debtor's property, with the condition that the conveyance of title becomes void upon the payment of the debt:

    ‘I put down a hundred thousand in cash and took out a mortgage for the rest’
    • ‘While speaking of mortgages what will happen to them during 2001?’
    • ‘Although borrowers may be comfortable taking out loans and mortgages at current interest rates, what is the likelihood of a rise in rates, over the medium to long term?’
    • ‘Obtaining a mortgage anywhere will depend largely on the ability of the borrower to repay the loan.’
    • ‘These sub-prime mortgages have a terrible record.’
    • ‘Of the two main products, lifetime mortgages will come under FSA regulation and ombudsman protection, but home reversion plans will not - at least for the time being.’
    • ‘Thanks to new regulations that came into effect last October, mortgages are now overseen by the Financial Services Authority.’
    • ‘However, some mortgages will suit your needs better than others, so how do you decide which one's best for you?’
    • ‘What do you think the increased cost of mortgages will do for your boom?’
    • ‘Now she is worried about her mortgage, which will soon have to be renewed, as doubts grow over the direction of interest rates.’
    • ‘So a customer with a flexible mortgage will be able to overpay, underpay and apply for a payment holiday or funds from the draw-down facility to coincide with their changing circumstances.’
    • ‘If they continue, many mortgages will be difficult to service.’
    • ‘More fixed-rate mortgages will also help to bring Britain into line with other countries in the European Union and hasten entry into the single monetary system - the euro.’
    • ‘Additional finance was to be raised by a mortgage with the Yorkshire Bank.’
    • ‘Our guide through the mortgage maze will help house-hunters identify the right product for their needs.’
    • ‘Special deals, such as fixed and capped rate mortgages, will usually carry these penalties.’
    • ‘Surely the interest paid over the life of the mortgage is enough for banks and building societies to absorb the costs themselves?’
    • ‘A Your job history and how well you have repaid past debts are important factors in whether you'll qualify for a mortgage.’
    • ‘They take out mortgages and life insurance policies.’
    • ‘Our new mortgage will be for 15 years rather than 25 because I would like to pay it off as soon as I can.’
    • ‘Last month the building society launched a mortgage with an interest rate capped at 4.99% until May 2009.’
    credit, advance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The amount of money borrowed in a mortgage:
      ‘a £60,000 mortgage’
      • ‘It makes money on the interest homeowners pay on their mortgages minus the interest it pays on low-rate bonds that it sells to institutional investors and foreign banks.’
      • ‘If you pay off your mortgage, you'll also lose the advantage of using someone else's money to invest.’
      • ‘Cases it has dealt with vary from revoked credit cards to missed mortgage payments, according to a company spokesman.’
      • ‘Much of the sharp rise is being driven by rising house prices, with more than €1 billion in mortgages borrowed each month.’
      • ‘In some cases their grandchildren will finish paying the mortgages on them.’
      • ‘The size of your current mortgage, school or university fees for children, and the effects of inflation must all be considered.’
      • ‘The standard policy reduces the amount covered as the mortgage is paid off so it is cheaper than a level term, which is one constant sum assured for the life of the policy.’
      • ‘I own my home with a small amount outstanding on the mortgage.’
      • ‘You therefore in effect overpay each month, which is why your mortgage would be cleared more quickly.’
      • ‘And it could trigger a sharp fall in prices, with the consequent return of negative equity - the value of the property falling below the amount of the outstanding mortgage.’
      • ‘The fee will usually be about 1% of the mortgage, but this will depend on the size of the loan and the complications of each individual case.’
      • ‘In some instances they insist that the parent guarantees only the portion of the mortgage above the amount they would usually lend, based on the child's salary.’
      • ‘The government should recognise that it is dealing with people who have suffered hardship and serious worries about whether their mortgages will be paid off.’
      • ‘But the energy cost savings will far exceed the amount added to the mortgage.’
      • ‘Once we have paid off our mortgages, we will consider pro bono work.’
      • ‘If you default on your mortgage repayments, the bank or lending institution has the right to claim 100 per cent of the property.’
      • ‘In eight out of ten major towns, people on average incomes cannot afford to buy an average home which is now 6.7 times average annual pay and will require a mortgage of five times your income.’
      • ‘If you don't like the idea of debt then you will probably be happier with a standard repayment loan where you can see the amount of your mortgage decreasing as time goes on.’
      • ‘Over half the houses in the country are owned outright by people while a further significant amount have very low mortgages and have seen their homes triple in value.’
      • ‘At the end of their working period and having redeemed the mortgage, they will remain in their own houses.’
    2. 1.2 A deed effecting a mortgage.
      • ‘How do you complain against the organisation that probably holds your mortgage deeds?’
      • ‘I am terrified that signing a mortgage will make me sacrifice my time to pay for a shell to house my life.’
      • ‘The piece of paper that documents this pledge is usually called a mortgage or a deed of trust.’
      • ‘Correspondence, deeds, mortgages, and business papers document the Burnett Family of Marshall County, Illinois.’
      • ‘Sounds a bit like me with my mortgage deeds, come to think of it.’
      • ‘It had won its case in 1994, when a French court decided that Windsor had signed a mortgage deed.’
      • ‘It is claimed that his signature is on a joint mortgage document with Smith and that meant he could undertake a complex financial transaction as part of the deal.’


  • 1 Convey (a property) to a creditor as security on a loan:

    ‘the estate was mortgaged up to the hilt’
    ‘a heavily mortgaged farm’
    • ‘The bank leant heavily on his elderly father, and in due course the latter without further advice mortgaged his farm to cover his son's further outgoings.’
    • ‘That is the guts of it, really, and, especially that this pastoral lease has been mortgaged - this brings another problem.’
    • ‘During this time her brother-in-law mortgaged the property, without her knowledge, as security for his own debts, and when he defaulted on the repayments, the bank sought possession of the property.’
    • ‘Much of what appears to be ‘owned’ farm property is mortgaged to the Land Bank or is held as collateral by one of the other banks.’
    • ‘Returning to Ireland, he took out a bank loan, mortgaging his house, and hit up former employer Tullow Engineering for backing.’
    • ‘Hjorten and Fuller went without salaries for the project's first year and financed the company by mortgaging their property and by taking on credit-card debt.’
    • ‘Section 144 allows the transfer of leases and section 144 allows leases to be mortgaged and there are subsequent provisions which deal specifically with a mortgage over a leasehold or licence.’
    • ‘In July the goods were mortgaged by the Claimant to HSBC as per the HSBC chattel mortgage under the covenants of which… the Claimant had obligations which were wholly inconsistent with rejection of the goods.’
    • ‘The moment the patents were granted they would be valuable pieces of Intellectual Property, which could be mortgaged, sold or handled in any normal way.’
    • ‘Mr. Aarts mortgaged this property to provide part of the funds used to purchase the home.’
    • ‘Many growers are heavily mortgaged and have reduced equity in their farms, which makes them less attractive to lenders.’
    • ‘Most families take out heavy loans, pawn jewelry and other valuables or mortgage their property to scrape together the money to fund the illicit journey.’
    • ‘They were required to mortgage their property to insure against the need to pay compensation for damage done by robbers.’
    • ‘Mrs Smyth had agreed to mortgage the 124-acre family farm in CoTipperary, and had signed a consent form under the 1976 act.’
    • ‘I then purchased Park lane with the additional funds I gained by mortgaging some properties.’
    • ‘This involved mortgaging those estates heavily to the government and using the capital for development and the hire of wage-labour.’
    • ‘All four are said to be mortgaged to the Midland Bank to secure a loan, which exceeds their value, and to generate income less than the sums required to service the loan.’
    • ‘None of the team's assets, including its Milton Keynes headquarters, is mortgaged to banks or creditors, and the 300 staff are skilled and committed.’
    • ‘They constantly refer to becoming a ‘millionaire’, but owning mortgaged properties worth £1 million is not the same as having £1 million of capital.’
    • ‘They granted John Jr. a power to mortgage the Property for an amount not to exceed $500,000.’
    • ‘Without it, you can't raise funds by mortgaging your land, hence no investment, no capital accumulation and no climbing out of poverty’
    1. 1.1 Expose to future risk or constraint for the sake of immediate advantage:
      ‘some people worry that selling off state assets mortgages the country's future’
      • ‘The hard truth is, California's future is already mortgaged.’
      • ‘He is borrowing to buy the club, thus effectively mortgaging its future.’
      • ‘Middle-class British parents, meanwhile, are mortgaging their futures to keep their children out of state schools, or to buy homes in areas where the local state school has a civilized reputation.’
      • ‘Whenever a nation or nations go to war, they mortgage the lives of future generations.’
      • ‘We should focus on measures that help the current economy without further mortgaging our future.’
      • ‘However, they have simply mortgaged worker's futures, preparing the way for more wide-ranging attacks affecting the great majority of the workforce as are now taking place.’
      • ‘It is easy to say that these actions mortgaged the future.’
      • ‘Slashing college budgets doesn't mortgage the future, it potentially eradicates it.’
      • ‘They are wasting their youth and mortgaging their future.’
      • ‘In such a situation, younger people may question whether their futures should be mortgaged to care for those who are making no productive contributions to society for such an extended portion of their lives.’
      • ‘We are on a spending spree that's mortgaging our children's futures, and I feel very strongly about that.’
      • ‘However there were risks in mortgaging means of production.’
      • ‘‘We're not going to mortgage the future in order to win a few extra games the first season,’ he says.’
      • ‘He railed against the banks, the shops, the ‘irresistible power’ of advertising and the fact that we have all, supposedly, mortgaged our future for a relentless, driven, empty consumerism.’
      • ‘If a team is young they must mortgage the future so that they can win in the here and now.’
      • ‘Inspections are a form of appeasement - they will buy a little time, but ultimately they mortgage our future to a dictator.’
      • ‘Yet they aren't in bad shape for a franchise that mortgaged its future.’
      • ‘Isn't true wealth the ability to live abundantly without mortgaging your future?’
      • ‘At the same time, they are mortgaging the future of our children and our country.’
      • ‘But students cannot mortgage their future earnings potential to pay for their living expenses in the present.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, literally dead pledge, from mort (from Latin mortuus dead) + gage pledge.