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[yoo-zher-er] /ˈyu ʒər ər/
a person who lends money and charges interest, especially at an exorbitant or unlawful rate; moneylender.
Obsolete. a person who lends money at interest.
Origin of usurer
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin ūsūrārius, equivalent to ūsūr(ia) usury + Latin -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for usurer
Historical Examples
  • Appeal to the higher powers if you dare, and I'll make you repent it, you usurer!

  • Rooney appears to be a money-lender, a usurer—most probably a Jew.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • If I were a usurer I could not put out money to a better advantage.

    Hidden Hand

    Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth
  • He had been plundered by every usurer in the Levant, and in turn had taken them in.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • He was a usurer, though he could be very liberal when his policy demanded.

  • They suffered not an usurer to be witnesse in matters of Law.

  • I thought perhaps there was some usurer, whom you had heard of, who could let me have the money.

    Helen and Arthur Caroline Lee Hentz
  • Interest paid could be reclaimed, not only from the usurer but from his heirs.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • A mere hint of encouragement to the usurer came from Calvin.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • The voluntary sacrifice of others to the usurer does not make his gains just.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
British Dictionary definitions for usurer


a person who lends funds at an exorbitant rate of interest
(obsolete) a moneylender
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for usurer

late 13c., from Old French usurier, from Medieval Latin usurarius "usurer," from Latin adj. usurarius "pertaining to interest," from usura (see usury).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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