One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A long-term financial loan without a fixed date for repayment; a sum of money lent for an indefinite period.
2(In "on permanent loan") a situation in which an object is in the possession of one party (often a museum, gallery, etc.) and remains in the ownership of another, but without expectation of its return.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Steuart (1676–1759).
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