interest - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [singular/uncountable] a feeling of wanting to know about or take part in something
    interest in:

    an interest in politics

    have/feel (an) interest in:

    He has a particular interest in Italian art.

    have no interest in doing something:

    I have no interest in depriving you of what is rightfully yours.

    take an interest in (=show you are interested in):

    ‘What do you mean?’ asked Pat, now taking an interest in the proceedings.

    show/express (an) interest (in):

    Apparently several buyers have expressed an interest in the deal.

    To my relief, no one showed the slightest interest when I got up to leave.

    attract/arouse interest:

    The reports have aroused considerable interest.

    lose (all) interest (in):

    People are losing all interest in the election.

    with interest:

    The presidential race is being watched with interest all over the world.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the quality that something has that makes you notice it and want to know about it or take part in it

    The scar added interest to a face that otherwise would have appeared too bland.

    places of interest (=places that are interesting):

    The city has a multitude of museums and places of interest.

    be of interest (to someone):

    publications that may be of interest to the self-employed

    be of no interest (to someone):

    ‘What you think is of no interest to me’, Elaine said flatly.

    be of particular/special/considerable interest (to someone):

    Most degree courses allow students to include subjects of special interest to them.

    See also human interest
  3. 3
    [countable] [often plural] an activity that you enjoy doing when you are not working

    Tell us about your interests and hobbies.

  4. 4
    [uncountable] business money that a person or institution such as a bank charges you for lending you money
    charge interest on something:

    an increase in the interest charged on personal loans

    repay something with interest:

    You will repay the money with interest, as agreed in the contract.

    1. a.
      money that you receive from an institution such as a bank when you keep money in an account there
      earn interest on something:

      We can show you how you can earn a higher rate of interest on your savings.

  5. 5
    [countable/uncountable] an advantage or benefit to someone or something
    protect/safeguard/defend someone’s interests:

    All he cares about is protecting his own interests.

    be in your (own) interest(s) (=bring an advantage or benefit):

    It’s in their own interests to cooperate.

    be in someone’s/something’s (best) interest(s) (=bring an advantage or benefit):

    The council doesn’t believe the scheme is in the best interests of pupils.

    have someone’s (best) interests at heart (=want to help them):

    He claims he has only my best interests at heart.

    be in the public/national interest:

    Publication of the documents is not in the public interest.

  6. 6
    [countable] a connection with something that influences your attitude or behaviour because you can gain an advantage from it
    have an interest in something:

    The United States had an interest in giving military aid because it provided jobs for American workers.

    declare an interest in something:

    I declare an interest in this matter, as I am the parliamentary adviser to the Association.

    See also conflict
  7. 7
    [countable] business a legal right to own part of a business or property

    He acquired interests in a number of mines in the area.

  8. 8
    [countable] [usually plural] business a group of organizations, especially businesses, that have a shared aim