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Usage statistics for the noun interest:

spoken English28.77%written English71.23% conversational speech17.3%task-oriented speech82.7% imaginative writing23.15%informational writing76.85%
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Interest is sometimes a misspelling of entrance.

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Definition of the noun interest

What does interest mean as a name of something?

Interest is one of the top 50 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 50 most common nouns in informational written English.View more statistics!

noun - plural: interests

  1. a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something
    • example: an interest in music
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonym of interest: involvement
    • more generic words: curiosity / wonder = a state in which you want to learn more about something
    • more specific words:
      • enthusiasm = a lively interest
      • concern = something that interests you because it is important or affects you
  2. a reason for wanting something done
    • examples: in the interest of safety | in the common interest
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonym of interest: sake
    • more generic words: benefit / welfare = something that aids or promotes well-being
    • more specific word: behalf = for someone's benefit
  3. the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.)
    • examples: they said nothing of great interest | primary colors can add interest to a room
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonym of interest: interestingness
    • more generic words: power / powerfulness = possession of controlling influence
    • more specific terms:
    • attributes:
      • interesting = arousing or holding the attention
      • uninteresting = arousing no interest or attention or curiosity or excitement
  4. a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of the amount borrowed
    • example: how much interest do you pay on your mortgage?
    • lexical domain: Possessions - nouns denoting possession and transfer of possession
    • more generic terms: fixed charge / fixed cost / fixed costs = a periodic charge that does not vary with business volume
    • more specific terms:
  5. (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something
    • example: they have interests all over the world
    • domain: jurisprudence / law
    • lexical domain: Possessions - nouns denoting possession and transfer of possession
    • synonym of interest: stake
    • more generic words: part / percentage / portion / share = assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group
    • more specific terms:
      • grubstake = funds advanced to a prospector or to someone starting a business in return for a share of the profits
      • controlling interest = ownership of more than 50% of a corporation's voting shares
      • insurable interest = an interest in a person or thing that will support the issuance of an insurance policy
      • vested interest = an interest in which there is a fixed right to present or future enjoyment and that can be conveyed to another
      • security interest = any interest in a property that secures the payment of an obligation
      • terminable interest = an interest in property that terminates under specific conditions
      • undivided interest / undivided right = the interest in property owned by tenants whereby each tenant has an equal right to enjoy the entire property
      • fee = an interest in land capable of being inherited
      • equity = the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation
      • reversion = an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor (or his heirs) at the end of some period
      • right = the interest possessed by law or custom in some intangible thing
  6. (usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims
  7. a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)

Alternative definition of the noun interest


  1. [uncountable] [finance] The price paid for obtaining, or price received for providing, money or goods in a credit transaction, calculated as a fraction of the amount or value of what was borrowed. [definition from earlier 16th c.]
  2. [uncountable] A great attention and concern from someone or something; intellectual curiosity. [definition from later 18th c.]
  3. [uncountable] Attention that is given to or received from someone or something.
  4. [countable] A business or amorous link or involvement.

Specialised definition of the noun interest

Glossary of finance / investment

money earned as a result of maintaining a savings account or investing in another instrument

Glossary of finance / mortgage

a percentage or fee charged by financial institutions and other entities for the use of money or assets

Definition of the verb interest

What does interest mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: interested | interesting | interests

  1. excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
  2. be on the mind of
    • example: The bad news will interest him
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • synonyms of interest: concern / occupy / worry
  3. be of importance or consequence

Alternative definition of the verb interest


  1. To attract attention or concern.


  1. Interest is a fee paid by a borrower of assets to the owner as a form of compensation for the use of the assets. It is most commonly the price paid for the use of borrowed money, or money earned by deposited funds.
  2. Interest is a feeling or emotion that causes attention to focus on an object, event, or process. In contemporary psychology of interest, the term is used as a general concept that may encompass other more specific psychological terms, such as curiosity and to a much lesser degree surprise.

Phrases with Interest

Phrases starting with the word Interest:

  1. interest rate
  2. interest group
  3. interest expense
  4. interest-bearing

Phrases ending with the word Interest:

  1. to interest
  2. low-interest
  3. high-interest
  4. Love Interest
  5. Open interest
  6. self-interest
  7. Legal Interest
  8. Future interest
  9. Public interest
  10. simple interest
  11. vested interest
  12. rate of interest
  13. special interest
  14. compound interest
  15. Point of interest
  16. security interest

View more phrases with the word Interest in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Interest

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewCode of Federal Regulations (2000)


The charitable interest is an irrevocable remainder interest, not in trust, in a personal residence.

The charitable interest is a remainder interest in a trust Which is a charitable remainder annuity trust, as defined in section 664(d)(1)...

Google previewThe Law and Practice of Secured Transactions (2015)

Working with Article 9 by Richard F. Duncan, William H. Lyons, Catherine Lee Wilson

if the security interest is a purchase money security interest in consumer goods and the debtor has ...

Google previewHandbook on the law of damages (1896)

by William Benjamin Hale

Interest is the compensation fixed by agreement or allowed by law for the use or detention of money, or for the loss thereof to the party entitled to its use...

“A contract to pay interest is a contract to pay a consideration for the future use of money.

Google previewModern accountant (1911)

revised by James A. Lyons, Walter L. Read

Lesson XXVII JOURNALIZING Interest and Discount Interest is the use of money for which consideration is paid. When one has the use of...

Google previewNew Mercantile Practical Bookkeeping (1908)

A Textbook on Modern Methods of Accounting, Including an Appendix of Useful Information and Helpful Hints for Bookkeepers and Office Men ... by Practical Text Book Co

Interest is the use of money, not the money paid for the use of money, but the right or privilege of using money. Rent is...

Google previewThe Law of Rights of Light (2016)

by Michael Barnes QC

An incorporeal interest is a proprietary right over land which does not give the right, currently or in the future, to possession of...

Google previewAn Introduction to Modern Financial Reporting Theory (2000)

by Brian A Rutherford

Ownership interest The Statement of Principles formally defines ownership interest as follows: Ownership interest is the residual amount found by deducting all of the entity's liabilities from all of the entity's assets. (SP, 4.37) As the Statement ...

Google previewSchool and Home Education (1892)

Interest is the fundamental condition of curiosity. ter would not be. is self-love.

Interest is a native endowment of the mind that stimulates activity in the direction of a fuller realization of the self. That which does not ...

Google previewThe Journal of Education for Ontario (1872)

by Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, John George Hodgins, Adam Crooks

Interest is the sum of money paid for use or loan of some other sum of money." " Interest is divided into Simple and Compound. VVhen the...

Google previewSelf-Interest before Adam Smith (2003)

A Genealogy of Economic Science by Pierre Force

Furthermore, since Adam Smith's work is itself the foundation of modern economic science, self-interest is the first principle of economics. Because self- interest is a concept of such fundamental importance, one would ex- pect Adam Smith to ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Government and Politics (2004)

by M. E. Hawkesworth, Maurice Kogan

Interest groups may be defined as groups that consciously try to move public policy in particular directions. This distinguishes them in the first place from groups whose members share certain attitudes, but are not concerned with public policy.

Google previewA Dictionary of Western Alchemy (2014)

by Jordan Stratford, Jeffrey S Kupperman

renewed interest in the esotericisms of an earlier time seems to be a trend today. In academic circles we've seen everything from Frances Yates's fascinating but lamentably flawed hermetic revival to Richard Kieckheffer's forming ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Interest

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Usage statistics about interest

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the noun interest:

spoken English28.77%written English71.23% conversational speech17.3%task-oriented speech82.7% imaginative writing23.15%informational writing76.85%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun interest:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb interest:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb interest and its most common antonym:


Photos about Interest

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View more pictures about Interest rate and Human interest.

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Small photo of Layout of the house in the phone and fly interest. The concept of discounts on real estate.Small photo of Plant Growing In Savings Coins - Investment And Interest Concept More...

Video language resources about Interest

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View more videos about Interest rate, Love Interest, Open interest, Legal Interest, Future interest, Public interest, simple interest, Vested interest, Rate of Interest, Compound interest, Person of Interest, Conflict of interest, Conflicts of interest, Expression of Interest, Shifting Executory Interest, Deposit Interest Retention Tax, and Fee Simple Subject to Executory Interest.

See also the pronunciation examples of Interest!

Quotes about Interest

An individual, in promoting his own interest, may injure the public interest; a nation, in promoting the general welfare, may check the interest of a part of its members. (Friedrich List)
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Scrabble value of I1N1T1E1R1E1S1T1

The value of this 8-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of INTEREST

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