1 FEELING (singular, uncountable) a feeling that makes you want to pay attention to something or to find out more about it: Ruth listened with evident interest.(+ in): They share an interest in poetry. | lose interest (=stop being interested): The older ones soon lost interest in the game. | take an interest (in) (=be interested in something): Babies soon begin to take an interest in the world around them. | show/express interest (=say you are interested in something or want to buy it): Ben has shown an interst in learning French. | Several football clubs have expressed an interest in Giggs.2 QUALITY (U) a quality or feature of something that attracts your attention or makes you want to know more about it: Add interest to your decor with a patterned border. | of interest (=interesting): Tourist information will give you a list of local places of interest. | of general interest (=that everyone wants to know about): a subject of general interest | of special/particular interest: This book will be of particular interest to those studying British Politics since 1900. | be of no interest (to) (=not be interesting to someone): Your private problems are of no interest to me.3 ACTIVITY (C) something that you enjoy doing or a subject that you enjoy studying when you are not working: Her main interest in life is tennis. | List your leisure time interests on the back of the form.4 MONEY (U)a) a charge made for borrowing money: competitive rates of interest(+ on): The interest on the loan is 16.5 % per year.b) money paid to you by a bank or financial institution when you keep money in an account there—see also: compound interest, simple interest5 ADVANTAGE (C, U) the things that bring advantages to someone or something: be in your (best) interest(s): It would be in your interests to do as he says. | look after/protect/safeguard your interests: The company is endeavouring to protect its own interests. | the national interest | have sb's (best) interests at heart (=care about someone and want to improve their situation): Private employment agencies may not have your best interests at heart.6 be in the public/national interest be good or necessary for the safety or success of a country and its people: The documents were kept secret `in the public interest'.7 in the interest(s) of justice/efficiency etc in order to make a situation or system fair, efficient etc: In the interest of justice, I must speak the truth..8 (just) out of interest/as a matter of interest spoken used to say that you are asking a question only because you are interested and not because you need to know: Just out of interest, how much did they offer you? | As a matter of interest, where did you meet him?9 have no interest in doing sth not to want to do something: I have no interest in continuing this conversation.10 declare an interest (in sth) to state that you are connected with something or someone, and so cannot be completely fair and independent when making a decision involving them: I must declare an interest here, the second candidate is a friend of mine.11 human interest/love interest the part of a story or film which is interesting because it is about people's lives or romantic relationships12 pay sb back with interest informal to harm or offend someone in an even worse way than they have harmed you13 SHARE IN COMPANY (C) technical a share in a company, business etc: She's sold all her interests in the company. | controlling interest (=enough shares to control what decisions are taken): Müller has a controlling interest in the factory.14 POWERFUL GROUP (C) technical a group of people in the same business who share aims or ideas: landed interests | shipping interests—see also: selfinterest, vested interest 2 verb (T)1 to make someone feel interested: Here's an article which might interest you. | What interests me is all the history of these places. | it may interest you to know spoken (=used to introduce a fact which you think may surprise someone): It may interest you to know that she is now head of a major company.2 could I interest you in a drink/a meal etc? spoken used as a polite way of offering someone something
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.