borrow - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participleborrowing
past tenseborrowed
past participleborrowed
  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. b.
      [transitive] to borrow books from a library and agree to take them back at a particular time
  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.