(Latin: loaning money at extremely high rates of interest; to use)

usurer (s) (noun), usurers (pl)
1. Someone who lends money at excessive rates or interest; especially, at an exorbitant or unlawfully high rate: Since Max was in desperate need for money, he went to a usurer for a fast loan and he didn't realize that the guy was a loan shark who charged very high prices for such monetary uses.
2. Etymology: borrowed in 1300 from Anglo-French ususrer; a variation of Old French usurier; from Late Latin usurarius, "moneylender; from Latin usurarius, "that which pays interest, for use"; from usura, "use"; from the stem uti, "to use".
usurious (adjective), more usurious, most usurious
A reference to loan sharks who charge illegal or excessive amounts of money to customers: Henry's cousin was a usurious moneylender in the neighborhood who made sure that he got twice the amount of money back that was borrowed from him.

There was a business in a certain part of town that charged large usurious rates of interest even for very small loans.

Charging illegal or exorbitant interest for the use of money that is loaned.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Relating to illegal or exorbitant charges for those who borrow money from a loaner.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

usuriously (adverb), more usuriously, most usuriously
Exceeding all the limits of custom or fairness: It has been usuriously expensive for many students to borrow money to pay for their college or university education.
usuriousness (s) (noun) (usually no plural)
The action or practice of of lending money for unreasonably high payments: Some people are so desperate to get enough money to buy items that exceed their income that they are willing to become victims of usuriousness.
usury (s) (noun), usuries (pl)
1. The practice of lending money and charging the borrower very high interest rates: Joan's husband was accused of a criminal act of usuary because he was charging an unlawfully high rate of interest when he loaned money to his fellow workers.

When Maggie tried to borrow some money to pay her medical bills, she went to a local loan agency and when she was told how much interest she would have to pay, she told the dealer that he said the rates he was charging were "fair", but she said his required payment was bordering on usury!

2. Etymology: from Anglo-Norman usurie; from Medieval Latin usuria, an alteration of classical Latin usura, "use of money lent"; hence, "interest".
usury laws (pl) (noun) (plural used as a singular)
Legal statutes that prohibit finance charges above a certain level for a debt: The usury laws set limits on how much interest and other forms of compensation are allowed for loaning money.