Definition of loan in English:



  • 1A thing that is borrowed, especially a sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest.

    ‘borrowers can take out a loan for $84,000’
    • ‘If anyone wants to take out a loan, borrow money, or get something on hire purchase, they have to agree to a credit check being done on them to make sure they are safe with other people's money.’
    • ‘They expect the board to refinance the bank loans next year.’
    • ‘The banks have done that by expanding their offerings of auto loans, life insurance, mutual funds, mortgages, and credit cards.’
    • ‘What bank provides the best value in fixed interest personal loans?’
    • ‘Car loans are simply personal loans provided by a bank or finance company to facilitate a car purchase.’
    • ‘Nowadays consumers even take out personal loans with banks and finance houses to pay for surgery.’
    • ‘It sells its own credit cards, home mortgages, consumer loans, and insurance policies.’
    • ‘Other longterm incentives are fixed incentives such as paid insurance premiums and imputed interest on reduced rate loans.’
    • ‘If heavily leveraged firms can't service their loans or borrow new money, that could bring China's growth to an abrupt halt.’
    • ‘Include money owed on credit cards and store cards, bank loans, hire purchase agreements and any overdrawn bank or building society accounts’
    • ‘The SBA is empowered to guarantee some $21 billion a year in bank loans and venture capital investments to small businesses.’
    • ‘Because if you can deduct interest on a loan, invest the money, and earn tax-free profits, you essentially get a government subsidy for investing.’
    • ‘Managed financial systems allowed capital accumulation to be financed by bank loans at low interest rates, regulated by the monetary authorities.’
    • ‘And some schools make low interest loans or partner with banks that do it for them.’
    • ‘At its simplest, a car loan is a personal loan offered by a bank, credit union or finance company.’
    • ‘The lower interest rate is expected to make bank loans cheaper so that the corporate sector can afford to borrow more money from banks to finance expansion programs.’
    • ‘A bigger challenge is consumer finance - the business of extending unsecured loans at double-digit interest rates.’
    • ‘In a range of institutions like credit unions or retail banks, personal loans can be arranged over the internet, by phone or in person.’
    • ‘Most French mortgages are capital and interest or interest-only repayment loans.’
    • ‘If you are constantly in overdraft territory, you should re-package it into a personal loan and obtain interest rates that can be up to almost three times cheaper.’
    credit, advance
    mortgage, overdraft
    lending, moneylending, advancing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An act of lending something to someone.
      ‘she offered to buy him dinner in return for the loan of the car’
      • ‘A quick call to Young Watski who was luckily in the area secured the loan of his car for the rest of the day.’
      • ‘In the ordinary debt collection case, the court would be unimpressed by a claim from a debtor that he was unaware of his rights and obligations under the terms of the loan.’
      • ‘Bassanio warns Antonio not to make the deal, but Antonio assures him that he will have nine thousand ducats a month before the term of the loan runs out.’
      • ‘Many thanks to Arnold Clark Vauxhall in Pollokshields for the loan of our test car.’
      • ‘In all likelihood, the debt was incurred on Lord Petre's ‘iorney to Axminster’ exactly twelve months earlier, a year being a round term for a loan.’
      • ‘The terms of the loan were onerous to the airline and lucrative to the American bank, because at the time Ethiopia had a very adverse risk rating.’
      • ‘Generally speaking, the shorter the term of the loan, the higher the APR.’
      • ‘In that case, you must deduct the remaining balance over the term of your new loan, the IRS says.’
      • ‘The term of the loan is ten years, with a two-year grace period starting from the date of utilisation of each tranche.’
      • ‘There's a lot of holding at the beginning, the banker must service and review the account throughout the term of the loan.’
      • ‘Thanks to Ian Philp Mercedes-Benz in Glasgow for the loan of our test car.’
      • ‘The result of a lower sale price is a lesser amount financed, and this might enable you to negotiate better terms for your auto loan.’
      • ‘Lenders prefer to tie the lifetime of the collateral to the term of the loan.’
      • ‘If he was prepared to mislead a bank as to his position in a company for the purpose of inducing a loan, I have reservations respecting the confidence I can place in his testimony.’
      • ‘Experts have been cleaning the 13 fossils ready for display as part of the terms of the loan from the Geological Museum of China in Beijing.’
      • ‘The first was whether a commercial loan made by the claimant became the subject matter of a ‘Quistclose trust’ by virtue of the terms of the loan.’
      • ‘The term of the loan cannot exceed 20 years, and breeders will have until September 30, 2002 to apply.’
      • ‘Many thanks to Harry Fairbairn BMW for the loan of the test car.’
      • ‘Remember to match the term of the loan with its purpose.’
      • ‘You simply write a check and you've initiated a loan.’
    2. 1.2
      short for loanword
      • ‘It isn't very common, and as far as I know, all of the words that contain it are loans from French.’
      • ‘Multiple sets of sound correspondences can be used to distinguish loans from inherited words.’
      • ‘English they and them are loans from Scandinavian.’
      • ‘Since the 19c, it has also provided loans to European languages including English and French.’


  • Borrow (a sum of money or item of property)

    ‘the word processor was loaned to us by the theater’
    ‘he knew Rob would not loan him money’
    • ‘In recent years a number of local people had loaned artifacts and old items for display in the museum.’
    • ‘The Earl of Halifax, who has loaned it to Trafalgar Square, now wants to sell.’
    • ‘Home credit lenders typically loan small sums, with home collection of repayments - often weekly or fortnightly.’
    • ‘It's still not clear how much of the pledged money is to be granted and how much is to be loaned.’
    • ‘Residents have loaned photographs and recorded their memories of the extreme weather.’
    • ‘This could use any land to send its sheep to market - including royal - as it loaned large sums to the crown.’
    • ‘They should not have loaned money to a man who was butchering innocent people.’
    • ‘The other day you gave advice to some poor chap who had loaned money to a bargirl and more or less said that he was foolish.’
    • ‘The collection has been loaned by the British Library to the Bronte Parsonage Museum.’
    • ‘We are very thankful to all of the people who have loaned us their treasures for the exhibition.’
    • ‘Any future credits and moneys loaned will be loaned at a rate of seven percent usury.’
    • ‘Family and friends loaned money and helped her to buy the former Muslim girls school.’
    • ‘We have received some positive feedback from local people and a lot more items have been loaned to us.’
    • ‘The couple loaned the tickets to other fans before travelling to Asia for a holiday in December.’
    • ‘It was displayed in the Houses of Parliament but earlier this year was loaned to the Corporation of London.’
    • ‘If so, they must be suffering from withdrawal symptoms, given how many works they have loaned this autumn.’
    • ‘Some are on display in the Minster and others have been loaned to a museum.’
    • ‘The nice people at the Animal Shelter then loaned me a pet carrier to take him home in.’
    • ‘Sadly I never had one of my own but a girl on our road got one every year, and, when she had read it, she loaned it to me.’
    • ‘Increasingly people are falling for the creative way money is loaned unaware of the huge rates they will have to repay.’
    lend, advance, give credit, credit, allow
    borrow, ask for the loan of, receive on loan, take on loan, use temporarily
    View synonyms


  • on loan

    • 1(of a thing) being borrowed.

      ‘the painting is at present on loan to the gallery’
      • ‘I was extremely happy to discover that the video she wanted was on loan to somebody else, meaning she has to go on a hike to pick it up.’
      • ‘The watch is on loan to the exhibition from a leading UK collector.’
      • ‘It would have been there on loan to her, but on her death would have gone back.’
      • ‘Since then, it has travelled on loan to more than a dozen other opera companies throughout North America.’
      • ‘It had been on loan to the Galleries since the 1950s but that was not long enough to qualify for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.’
      • ‘He added that if his son Richard did not want to keep it after inheritance the piece may also go back on loan to be enjoyed by the people of the city.’
      • ‘By happenstance, it is on loan to the American museum circuit, so I did not get to see it.’
      • ‘The mercurial winger has been the subject of a summer of speculation since being shipped out on loan to Reading in April.’
      • ‘The following works have already gone out or will be going out on loan from the Museum in the months to come.’
      • ‘The ship's bell and name boards are now on loan to the island of Alderney for display in the local museum.’
      1. 1.1(of a worker or sports player) released to another organization or team, typically for an agreed fixed period.
        • ‘I went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday to keep myself in the shop window.’
        • ‘Both went on loan to several clubs before leaving permanently.’
        • ‘At the moment he is on loan to Coventry from Liverpool until the end of the season.’
        • ‘I had made seven appearances for Blackburn but then got injured and went out on loan to Colchester.’
        • ‘I could let him go on loan to get some first team football so that he could come back here and play a part in our last few games.’
        • ‘She came from a small town in Arkansas and was on loan to the British Army as a cryptographer.’
        • ‘It was his decision to go on loan to Ayr because he wanted first-team football.’
        • ‘They have had to go out on loan to make sure they get more experience.’
        • ‘He was given 18 games, before being shunted off on loan to Lille, where he remains.’
        • ‘He went on loan to Blackpool but they had two cup matches in that time and Sunderland wouldn't allow him to play in them.’


Middle English (also denoting a gift from a superior): from Old Norse lán, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leen, German Lehn, also to lend.