see also: Borrow
  • (RP) enPR: bŏrʹō, IPA: /ˈbɒɹəʊ/
  • (GA) enPR: bärʹō, IPA: /ˈbɑɹoʊ/
  • (Canadian) enPR: bôrʹō, IPA: /ˈbɔɹoʊ/

borrow (borrows, present participle borrowing; past and past participle borrowed)

  1. To receive (something) from somebody temporarily, expecting to return it.
  2. To take money from a bank under the agreement that the bank will be paid over the course of time.
  3. To adopt (an idea) as one's own.
    to borrow the style, manner, or opinions of another
    • 1649, [John] Milton, [Eikonoklastes]  […], London: Printed by Matthew Simmons,  […], OCLC 1044608640 ↗:
      It is not hard for any man, who hath a Bible in his hands, to borrow good words and holy sayings in abundance; but to make them his own is a work of grace only from above.
  4. (linguistics) To adopt a word from another language.
  5. (arithmetic) In a subtraction, to deduct (one) from a digit of the minuend and add ten to the following digit, in order that the subtraction of a larger digit in the subtrahend from the digit in the minuend to which ten is added gives a positive result.
  6. (Upper Midwestern United States, Malaysia, proscribed) To lend.
  7. (double transitive) To temporarily obtain (something) for (someone).
  8. To feign or counterfeit.
    • borrowed hair
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      the borrowed majesty of England
  9. (obsolete except in ballads) To secure the release of (someone) from prison.
    • Traditional, "Young Beichan" (Child ballad 53)
      But if ony maiden would borrow me,
      I would wed her wi' a ring,
      And a' my land and a' my houses,
      They should a' be at her command.
  10. (informal) To receive (something) from somebody, with little possibility of returning it.
    Can I borrow a sheet of paper?
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (receive temporarily) give back exchanging the transfer of ownership, lend exchanging the owners, return exchanging the transfer of ownership
  • (in arithmetic) carry the equivalent reverse procedure in the inverse operation of addition
  • French: emprunter
  • German: borgen, ausleihen
  • Italian: prendere in prestito
  • Portuguese: emprestar, tomar emprestado
  • Russian: занима́ть
  • Spanish: pedir prestado, tomar prestado
  • Portuguese: adoptar
  • Russian: заи́мствовать
Translations Translations Noun

borrow (plural borrows)

  1. (golf) Deviation of the path of a rolling ball from a straight line; slope; slant.
    This putt has a big left-to right borrow on it.
  2. (construction, civil engineering) A borrow pit.
    • 1979, The Canadian Mining and Metallurgical Bulletin
      As previously indicated, slurry used for construction of the slurry cutoff trench at Beaver Creek Dam was produced with natural clays and clay tills from local borrows.
  3. (programming) In the Rust programming language, the situation where the ownership of a value is temporarily transferred to another region of code.

borrow (plural borrows)

  1. (archaic) A ransom; a pledge or guarantee.
  2. (archaic) A surety; someone standing bail.

Proper noun
  1. Surname
    George Borrow wrote novels and travelogues based on his experiences travelling around Europe.

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