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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for usurers
Historical Examples
  • He raised the needed money from usurers by giving them a mortgage on his own life estate in Lone itself.

    The Lost Lady of Lone E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • usurers were the open representatives of flagrant covetousness in all the ages.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • He but yields himself as a tool to the usurers to continue their loans.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • These public bonds are the golden opportunity of the usurers.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • I am truly unhappy in making this request, but I don't wish to go to the usurers.

  • The great debts of the nations have brought all mankind into subjection to the usurers.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • The usurers have been firmly in the saddle for many years, and have defeated every effort that has been made to unseat them.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • During the thirteenth century the severities against the usurers were not relaxed.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • Thieves, extortionists, usurers—and in the name of all the virtues!

  • They could only have been instituted by usurers and innkeepers.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 5 (of 10) Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
British Dictionary definitions for usurers


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 usurers



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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