What does borrow mean?

Definitions for borrow
ˈbɒr oʊ, ˈbɔr oʊbor·row

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word borrow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. borrowverb

    get temporarily

    "May I borrow your lawn mower?"

  2. adopt, borrow, take over, take upverb

    take up and practice as one's own

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Borrownoun

    The thing borrowed.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Yet of your royal presence I’ll adventure
    The borrow of a week. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

  2. To BORROWverb

    Etymology: borgen, Dutch; borgian, Saxon.

    He borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again when he was able. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. Neh. v. 4.

    Then he said, go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours. 2 Kings, iv. 3.

    Where darkness and surprize made conquest cheap!
    Where virtue borrowed the arms of chance,
    And struck a random blow! John Dryden, Span. Friar.

    A borrow’d title hast thou bought too dear;
    Why didst thou tell me that thou wert a king? William Shakespeare, H. IV.

    They may borrow something of instruction even from their past guilt. Decay of Piety.

    I was engaged in the translation of Virgil, from whom I have borrowed only two months. John Dryden, Dufresn.

    These verbal signs they sometimes borrow from others, and sometimes make themselves; as one may observe among the new names children give to things. John Locke.

    Some persons of bright parts have narrow remembrance; for having riches of their own, they are not solicitous to borrow. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    Unkind and cruel, to deceive your son
    In borrow’d shapes, and his embrace to shun. John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Borrowverb

    to receive from another as a loan, with the implied or expressed intention of returning the identical article or its equivalent in kind; -- the opposite of lend

  2. Borrowverb

    to take (one or more) from the next higher denomination in order to add it to the next lower; -- a term of subtraction when the figure of the subtrahend is larger than the corresponding one of the minuend

  3. Borrowverb

    to copy or imitate; to adopt; as, to borrow the style, manner, or opinions of another

  4. Borrowverb

    to feign or counterfeit

  5. Borrowverb

    to receive; to take; to derive

  6. Borrownoun

    something deposited as security; a pledge; a surety; a hostage

  7. Borrownoun

    the act of borrowing

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Borrow

    bor′ō, v.t. to obtain on loan or trust: to adopt from a foreign source: to derive one's authority from another (with from, of).—p.adj. Borr′owed, taken on loan, counterfeit, assumed.—n. Borr′ower.—Borrowing days, the last three days of March (O.S.), supposed in Scotch folklore to have been borrowed by March from April, and to be especially stormy. [A.S. borgianborg, borh, a pledge, security.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    v. t., to swap hot air for cold coin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'borrow' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2002

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'borrow' in Verbs Frequency: #563

How to pronounce borrow?

How to say borrow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of borrow in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of borrow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of borrow in a Sentence

  1. Clifford V. Villalon:

    Notions are ideas inside connotations. You borrow a c and you come up with an action.

  2. Lucinda Williams:

    Sometimes I might borrow something from a song I started a long time ago and see if I can grab something.

  3. Cal Brown:

    From a financial perspective it would be better to take a penalty-free withdrawal from the 401( k) because it won't cost you as much, but it can be hard psychologically to take from yourself in the future and pay yourself back. It might be better to borrow the money because you have a regular bill to pay and the cost is immediate. And your retirement remains funded.

  4. Ashok Jangale:

    We have trained her son, who is literate, to keep a log and check the owner's log, we tell them not to borrow so much money for festivals and weddings: they should know what is trapping them. And that when they have paid off what they owe, they have a right to leave.

  5. Horace Mann:

    Unfaithfulness in the keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person's money as his time.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for borrow

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    proceed or issue forth, as from a source
    • A. loom
    • B. emanate
    • C. abase
    • D. embellish

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