What does usury mean?

Definitions for usuryˈyu ʒə ri

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. usury, vigorish(noun)

    an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest

  2. usury(noun)

    the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest


  1. usury(Noun)

    An exorbitant rate of interest, in excess of any legal rates or at least immorally.

  2. usury(Noun)

    The practice of lending money at such rates.

  3. usury(Noun)

    The practice of lending money at interest.

  4. Origin: From usuria, from usura "lending at interest, usury" from usus 'use', from stem of uti 'to use'

Webster Dictionary

  1. Usury(verb)

    a premium or increase paid, or stipulated to be paid, for a loan, as of money; interest

  2. Usury(verb)

    the practice of taking interest

  3. Usury(verb)

    interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money


  1. Usury

    Usury is the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans. Depending on the local laws or social mores, a loan may be considered usurious because of excessive or abusive interest rates. According to some jurisdictions and customs, simply charging any interest at all can be considered usury. Other terms used for usury or usurers include loan shark, as well as Shylock which is sometimes used with an antisemitic connotation. The term may be used in a moral sense — condemning taking advantage of others' misfortunes — or in a legal sense where interest rates may be regulated by law. Historically, some cultures have regarded charging any interest for loans as sinful. Some of the earliest known condemnations of usury come from the Vedic texts of India. Similar condemnations are found in religious texts from Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At times, many nations from ancient China to ancient Greece to ancient Rome have outlawed loans with any interest. Though the Roman Empire eventually allowed loans with carefully restricted interest rates, the Christian church in medieval Europe banned the charging of interest at any rate.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Usury

    ū′zhū-ri, n. the taking of iniquitous or illegal interest on a loan, formerly interest of any kind on money lent.—v.i. U′sure (Shak.), to practise usury.—n. U′surer (orig., and in B.), any money-lender for interest: one who practises usury.—adj. Usū′rious.—adv. Usū′riously.—n. Usū′riousness. [L. usurauti, usus, to use.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of usury in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of usury in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Images & Illustrations of usury

  1. usuryusuryusury

Translations for usury

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for usury »


Find a translation for the usury definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these usury definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"usury." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/usury>.

Are we missing a good definition for usury? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for usury:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.