from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate.
- n. An excessive or illegally high rate of interest charged on borrowed money.
- n. Archaic Interest charged or paid on a loan.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An exorbitant rate of interest, in excess of any legal rates or at least immorally.
- n. The practice of lending money at such rates.
- n. The practice of lending money at interest.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A premium or increase paid, or stipulated to be paid, for a loan, as of money; interest.
- n. The practice of taking interest.
- n. Interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Originally, any premium paid, or stipulated to be paid, for the use of money; interest. [Obsolete or archaic.]
- n. An excessive or inordinate premium paid, or stipulated to be paid, for the use of money borrowed; any such premium in excess of the rate established or permitted by law, which varies locally.
- n. The practice of lending money at interest, or of taking interest for money lent; specifically, and now almost exclusively, the practice of taking exorbitant or excessive interest; the taking of extortionate interest from the needy or extravagant.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest
- n. the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest
Middle English, from Medieval Latin ūsūria, alteration of Latin ūsūra, from ūsus, use; see usual.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin usuria, from usura "lending at interest, usury" from usus 'use', from stem of uti 'to use' (Wiktionary)