Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something: an interest in sports.
  • n. Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity, that evokes this mental state: counts the theater among his interests.
  • n. Regard for one's own benefit or advantage; self-interest. Often used in the plural: It is in your best interest to cooperate. She kept her own interests in mind.
  • n. A right, claim, or legal share: an interest in the new company.
  • n. Something in which such a right, claim, or share is held: has interests overseas.
  • n. A person or group of persons holding such a right, claim, or share: a petroleum interest.
  • n. Involvement with or participation in something: She has an interest in the quality of her education.
  • n. A charge for a loan, usually a percentage of the amount loaned.
  • n. An excess or bonus beyond what is expected or due.
  • n. An interest group.
  • n. The particular cause supported by an interest group.
  • transitive v. To arouse the curiosity or hold the attention of: Your opinions interest me.
  • transitive v. To cause to become involved or concerned with: tried to interest her in taking a walk.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To concern or affect.
  • idiom interest To the advantage of; for the sake of: thinking in the interest of the whole family; ate breakfast on the train in the interest of time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Attention that is given to or received from someone or something.
  • n. A business or amorous link or involvement.
  • n. Injury, or compensation for injury; damages.
  • v. To attract attention or concern.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Excitement of feeling, whether pleasant or painful, accompanying special attention to some object; concern; a desire to learn more about a topic or engage often in an activity.
  • n. Participation in advantage, profit, and responsibility; share; portion; part
  • n. Advantage, personal or general; good, regarded as a selfish benefit; profit; benefit.
  • n. A fee paid for the use of money; a fee paid for a loan; -- usually reckoned as a percentage.
  • n. Any excess of advantage over and above an exact equivalent for what is given or rendered.
  • n. The persons interested in any particular business or measure, taken collectively
  • transitive v. To engage the attention of; to awaken interest in; to excite emotion or passion in, in behalf of a person or thing
  • transitive v. To be concerned with or engaged in; to affect; to concern; to excite; -- often used impersonally.
  • transitive v. To cause or permit to share.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To concern; affect; be of advantage or importance to.
  • To engage the attention of; excite concern in; stimulate to feeling or action in regard to something.
  • To cause to take a personal concern or share; induce to participate: as, to interest a person in an enterprise.
  • To place or station.
  • n. That which concerns or is of importance; that which is advantageous, or connected with advantage or welfare; concern; concernment; behoof; advantage: as, the common interests of life; to act for the public interest.
  • n. The feeling that something (the object of the feeling) concerns one; a feeling of the importance of something with reference to one's self; a feeling of personal concernment in an object, such as to fix the attention upon it; appreciative or sympathetic regard: as, to feel an interest in a person; to excite one's interest in a project; a subject of absorbing interest.
  • n. Personal or selfish consideration; regard to private benefit or profit: as, his actions are controlled by interest; the clashing of rival interests.
  • n. Influence from personal importance or capability; power of influencing the action of others: as, he has interest at court; to solicit a person's interest in behalf of an application.
  • n. Personal possession or right of control; share or participation in ownership: as, to have great interests in a county; an interest in a stock company; also, anything that is of importance from a commercial or financial point of view; a business; property in general: as, the mining interests.
  • n. In law, in the most general sense, legal concern of a person in a thing or in the conduct of another person, whether it consist in a right of enjoyment in or benefit from property, or a right of advantage, or a subjection to liability in the event of conduct; more specifically, a right in property, or to some of those uses or benefits from which the property is inseparable.
  • n. Payment, or a sum paid, for the use of money, or for forbearance of a debt.
  • n. Hence Something added or thrown in by way of premium or enhancement; an added quantity over and above what is due, deserved, or expected.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.)
  • n. (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something
  • n. a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
  • n. a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of the amount borrowed
  • v. be of importance or consequence
  • v. be on the mind of
  • n. a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something
  • v. excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
  • n. (usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims
  • n. a reason for wanting something done

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, it is of importance, third person sing. present tense of interesse, to be between, take part in : inter-, inter- + esse, to be.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French interesse and interest (French: intérêt), from Medieval Latin interesse, from Latin interesse.

Examples

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