[am-er-tahyz, uh-mawr-tahyz]
verb (used with object), am·or·tized, am·or·tiz·ing.
  1. Finance.
    1. to liquidate or extinguish (a mortgage, debt, or other obligation), especially by periodic payments to the creditor or to a sinking fund.
    2. to write off a cost of (an asset) gradually.
  2. Old English Law. to convey to a corporation or church group; alienate in mortmain.
Also especially British, am·or·tise.

Origin of amortize

1375–1425; Middle English amortisen < Anglo-French, Old French amortiss-, long stem of amortir literally, to kill, die < Vulgar Latin *a(d)mortīre (derivative of Latin mors, stem mort- death, with ad- ad-); -ize later replacing -is(s)-, probably by association with Anglo-Latin a(d)mortizāre
Related formsam·or·tiz·a·ble, adjectivenon·am·or·tiz·a·ble, adjectiveun·am·or·tized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for amortise



verb (tr)
  1. finance to liquidate (a debt, mortgage, etc) by instalment payments or by periodic transfers to a sinking fund
  2. to write off (a wasting asset) by annual transfers to a sinking fund
  3. property law (formerly) to transfer (lands, etc) in mortmain
Derived Formsamortizable or amortisable, adjective

Word Origin for amortize

C14: from Medieval Latin admortizāre, from Old French amortir to reduce to the point of death, ultimately from Latin ad to + mors death
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

Word Origin and History for amortise

chiefly British English spelling of amortize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Amortised; amortising.



late 14c., from Old French amortiss-, present participle stem of amortir "deaden," from Vulgar Latin *admortire "to extinguish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + mortus "dead," from Latin mors "death" (see mortal (adj.)). Originally a legal term for an act of alienating lands. Meaning "extinguish a debt" (in form amortization) is attested from 1824. Related: Amortized; amortizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper