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[in-ter-ist, -trist] /ˈɪn tər ɪst, -trɪst/
the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something:
She has a great interest in the poetry of Donne.
something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person:
His interests are philosophy and chess.
power of exciting such concern, involvement, etc.; quality of being interesting:
political issues of great interest.
concern; importance:
a matter of primary interest.
a business, cause, or the like in which a person has a share, concern, responsibility, etc.
a share, right, or title in the ownership of property, in a commercial or financial undertaking, or the like:
He bought half an interest in the store.
a participation in or concern for a cause, advantage, responsibility, etc.
a number or group of persons, or a party, financially interested in the same business, industry, or enterprise:
the banking interest.
interests, the group of persons or organizations having extensive financial or business power.
the state of being affected by something in respect to advantage or detriment:
We need an arbiter who is without interest in the outcome.
benefit; advantage:
to have one's own interest in mind.
regard for one's own advantage or profit; self-interest:
The partnership dissolved because of their conflicting interests.
influence from personal importance or capability; power of influencing the action of others.
  1. a sum paid or charged for the use of money or for borrowing money.
  2. such a sum expressed as a percentage of money borrowed to be paid over a given period, usually one year.
something added or thrown in above an exact equivalent:
Jones paid him back with a left hook and added a right uppercut for interest.
verb (used with object)
to engage or excite the attention or curiosity of:
Mystery stories interested him greatly.
to concern (a person, nation, etc.) in something; involve:
The fight for peace interests all nations.
to cause to take a personal concern or share; induce to participate:
to interest a person in an enterprise.
to cause to be concerned; affect.
in the interest(s) of, to the advantage or advancement of; in behalf of:
in the interests of good government.
Origin of interest
1225-75; (noun) Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin: it concerns, literally, it is between; replacing interesse < Medieval Latin, Latin: to concern, literally, to be between; (v.) earlier interess as v. use of the noun; see inter-, esse
Related forms
overinterest, noun
preinterest, noun, verb
reinterest, noun, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for in the interest of


/ˈɪntrɪst; -tərɪst/
the sense of curiosity about or concern with something or someone: an interest in butterflies
the power of stimulating such a sense: to have great interest
the quality of such stimulation
something in which one is interested; a hobby or pursuit
(often pl) benefit; advantage: in one's own interest
(often pl)
  1. a right, share, or claim, esp in a business or property
  2. the business, property, etc, in which a person has such concern
  1. a charge for the use of credit or borrowed money
  2. such a charge expressed as a percentage per time unit of the sum borrowed or used
(often pl) a section of a community, etc, whose members have common aims: we must not offend the landed interest
declare an interest, to make known one's connection, esp a prejudicial connection, with an affair
verb (transitive)
to arouse or excite the curiosity or concern of
to cause to become involved in something; concern
Word Origin
C15: from Latin: it concerns, from interesse; from inter- + esse to be
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for in the interest of



"to cause to be interested," c.1600, earlier interesse (1560s), from the noun (see interest (n.)). Perhaps also from or influenced by interess'd, past participle of interesse.



mid-15c., "legal claim or right; concern; benefit, advantage;" earlier interesse (late 14c.), from Anglo-French interesse "what one has a legal concern in," from Medieval Latin interesse "compensation for loss," noun use of Latin interresse "to concern, make a difference, be of importance," literally "to be between," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + esse "to be" (see essence).

Cf. German Interesse, from the same Medieval Latin source. Form in English influenced 15c. by French interest "damage," from Latin interest "it is of importance, it makes a difference," third person singular present of interresse. Financial sense of "money paid for the use of money lent" (1520s) earlier was distinguished from usury (illegal under Church law) by being in reference to "compensation due from a defaulting debtor." Meaning "curiosity" is first attested 1771. Interest group is attested from 1907; interest rate by 1868.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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in the interest of in Culture

interest definition

The charge for borrowing money or the return for lending it.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with in the interest of

in the interest of

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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