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Definition of "usury" []

  • The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate. (noun)
  • An excessive or illegally high rate of interest charged on borrowed money. (noun)
  • Archaic Interest charged or paid on a loan. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "usury" in a sentence
  • "From that time forward the term usury was restricted to excessive interest, and this alone was prohibited."
  • "In the Old Testament stood various texts condemning usury -- the term usury meaning any taking of interest: the law of Moses, while it allowed usury in dealing with strangers, forbade it in dealing with Jews."
  • "Watching the news today and they just had Ron Insana talking on msnbc about a report in the Wall Street Journal about how banks are now raising fees on everything and, with some banks now charging up to 29\% interest rates, he used the term usury rates."