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

  • n. A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for performance of an obligation or repayment of a debt.
  • n. A contract or deed specifying the terms of a mortgage.
  • n. The claim of a mortgagee upon mortgaged property.
  • transitive v. To pledge or convey (property) by means of a mortgage.
  • transitive v. To make subject to a claim or risk; pledge against a doubtful outcome: mortgaged their political careers by taking an unpopular stand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A special form of secured loan where the purpose of the loan must be specified to the lender, to purchase assets that must be fixed (not movable) property such as a house or piece of farm land. The assets are registered as the legal property of the borrower but the lender can seize them and dispose of them if they are not satisfied with the manner in which the repayment of the loan is conducted by the borrower. Once the loan is fully repaid, the lender loses this right of seizure and the assets are then deemed to be unencumbered.
  • v. As in "to mortgage a property", to borrow against a property, to obtain a loan for another purpose by giving away the right of seizure to the lender over a fixed property such as a house or piece of land.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A conveyance of property, upon condition, as security for the payment of a debt or the preformance of a duty, and to become void upon payment or performance according to the stipulated terms; also, the written instrument by which the conveyance is made.
  • n. State of being pledged.
  • transitive v. To grant or convey, as property, for the security of a debt, or other engagement, upon a condition that if the debt or engagement shall be discharged according to the contract, the conveyance shall be void, otherwise to become absolute, subject, however, to the right of redemption.
  • transitive v. Hence: To pledge, either literally or figuratively; to make subject to a claim or obligation.
  • transitive v.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grant (land, houses, or other immovable property) as security for money lent or contracted to be paid, or other obligation, on condition that if the obligation shall be discharged according to the contract the grant shall be void, otherwise it shall remain in full force. See mortgage, n., 1.
  • To pledge; make liable; put to pledge; make liable for the payment of any debt or expenditure; put in a position similar to that of being pledged.
  • n. At common law (and according to the present rule in some of the United States, and in form in nearly all, if not all, the States), a conveyance of real estate or some interest therein, defeasible upon the payment of money or the performance of some other condition.
  • n. By the law of most of the United States, a lien or charge upon specific property, real or personal, created by what purports to be an express transfer of title, with or without possession, but accompanied by a condition that the transfer shall be void if in due time the money be paid or the thing done to secure which the transfer is given.
  • n. A state or condition resembling that of mortgaged property.

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

  • n. a conditional conveyance of property as security for the repayment of a loan
  • v. put up as security or collateral


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

Middle English morgage, from Old French : mort, dead (from Vulgar Latin *mortus, from Latin mortuus, past participle of morī, to die) + gage, pledge (of Germanic origin).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman mortgage, Middle French mortgage, from Old French mort gage ("dead pledge"), after a translation of judicial Medieval Latin mortuum vadium or mortuum wadium , from mortuum + vadium or wadium, of Germanic (Frankish) origin, from a root *waddi, wadja. Cf. gage and also wage.



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  • “dead pledge�?.

    If the money is not repaid within the allotted time, property is taken from the borrower and is thereafter ‘dead’ to him. If it is repaid, then the debt itself is ‘dead’.

    December 5, 2008