verb (I, T)
1 to use something that belongs to someone else and that you must give back to them later: Can I borrow your pen for a minute? | borrow sth from sb BrE: You are allowed to borrow 6 books from the library at a time. | borrow heavily (=borrow a lot of money): They borrowed heavily from the bank to start their new business.
-compare lend (1), loan 2 (1)
2 to take or copy someone's ideas, words etc and use them in your own work, language etc: It is obvious that many ideas in the book have been borrowed.
(+ from): English borrows words from many languages.
3 borrow trouble AmE informal to worry about something unnecessarily
-see also: be living on borrowed time live 1 (14) USAGE NOTE: BORROW WORD CHOICE: borrow, lend, loan, hire, rent, get/have the use of, let somebody use You borrow something from another person who is willing to lend it to you: I borrowed some money from my sister (= my sister lent me some money/I was lent some money by my sister). You will hear some native speakers of English saying things like My sister borrowed me the money, but this is not considered to be correct In American English loan is often like lend: The current administration has loaned this country a billion dollars. In British English loan (v) is usually used for when someone lends a possession for a long time to a museum etc. so that everybody can see it. If you borrow money you have to pay it back later, and you may have to pay for the use of it as well, if you have borrowed it from a bank rather than a friend. If you borrow a car/video etc. you give it back afterwards but you do not usually pay for the use of it, otherwise you would say hire or rent. See hire WORD CHOICE. People do not usually use borrow or lend / loan for something that cannot be moved such as a room, house, or piece of land. If you pay for using this sort of thing you hire or rent it, otherwise you get the use of it from someone who is willing to let you use it: Could you let us use this hall? | Could we have the use of this hall?

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Borrow — or borrowing can mean: to receive (something) from somebody temporarily, expecting to return it. *In finance, monetary debt *In language, the use of loanwords *In arithmetic, when a digit become smaller than limit and the deficiency is taken from …   Wikipedia

  • Borrow — Bor row, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Borrowed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Borrowing}.] [OE. borwen, AS. borgian, fr. borg, borh, pledge; akin to D. borg, G. borg; prob. fr. root of AS. beorgan to protect. ?95. See 1st {Borough}.] 1. To receive from another as a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • borrow — [bär′ō, bôr′ō] vt., vi. [ME borwen < OE borgian, to borrow, lend, be surety for, akin to beorgan, to protect & BOROUGH] 1. to take or receive (something) with the understanding that one will return it or an equivalent 2. to adopt or take over… …   English World dictionary

  • borrow — bor·row vt: to take or receive temporarily; specif: to receive (money) with the intention of returning the same plus interest bor·row·er n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. borrow …   Law dictionary

  • borrow — O.E. borgian to lend, be surety for, from P.Gmc. *borg pledge, from PIE *bhergh to hide, protect (see BURY (Cf. bury)). Sense shifted in O.E. to borrow, apparently on the notion of collateral deposited as security for something borrowed. Cf. O.E …   Etymology dictionary

  • Borrow — Bor row, n. 1. Something deposited as security; a pledge; a surety; a hostage. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Ye may retain as borrows my two priests. Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] 2. The act of borrowing. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Of your royal presence I ll… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • borrow — [v1] take for temporary use accept loan of, acquire, beg, bite, bum, cadge*, chisel*, give a note for*, hire, hit up*, lift, mooch*, negotiate, obtain, pawn, pledge, raise money, rent, run into debt, scrounge, see one’s uncle*, soak, sponge, take …   New thesaurus

  • Borrow — Borrow, Georg, geb. um 1805 in Norfolk, durchreiste als Agent der englischen Bibelgesellschaft den größten Theil Europas u. NAfrikas. Einen Hauptgegenstand seines Studiums bildeten die Zigeuner, unter denen er in seiner Jugend eine Zeit lang… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Borrow — (spr bórro), George, engl. Schriftsteller, geb. 17. Juli 1803 zu East Dereham in Norfolk, gest. 29. Juli 1881 in Oulton bei Lowestoft, war der Sohn eines Offiziers, führte in der Jugend ein Wanderleben ohne Unterricht, sogar eine Zeitlang unter… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Borrow — (Barre), Georg, geb. 1805 in Norfolk, soll als Kind unter den Zigeunern gelebt haben, durchreiste später als Agent der engl. Bibelgesellschaft Europa und einen Theil Afrikas, beschrieb das Zigeunerleben und seine eigenen Erlebnisse, viel Dichtung …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • borrow — ► VERB 1) take and use (something belonging to someone else) with the intention of returning it. 2) take and use (money) from a person or bank under agreement to pay it back later. ● be (living) on borrowed time Cf. ↑be on borrowed time… …   English terms dictionary

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