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borrow - definition and synonyms


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verb borrow pronunciation in British English /ˈbɒrəʊ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleborrowing
past tenseborrowed
past participleborrowed
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to receive and use something that belongs to someone else, and promise to give it back to them later
    Can I borrow your calculator?
    borrow something from someone/something: I borrowed a camera from Alex.
    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to borrow money, especially from a bank, and agree to pay it back at a particular time. Money that you borrow is called a loan
      We borrowed £20,000 to start up the business.
      borrow heavily: He’d borrowed heavily to pay for the car.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to use an idea, method, phrase etc that was first used by another person or in another place or situation
    borrow something from someone/something: His speech was, to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, ‘full of sound and fury’.
    English is full of words that have been borrowed from other languages.
    borrow freely/heavily: His designs borrow freely from ancient Egyptian art.




a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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