- to take or obtain with the promise to return the same or an equivalent: Our neighbor borrowed my lawn mower.
- to use, appropriate, or introduce from another source or from a foreign source: to borrow an idea from the opposition; to borrow a word from French.
- Arithmetic. (in subtraction) to take from one denomination and add to the next lower.
- to borrow something: Don't borrow unless you intend to repay.
- to sail close to the wind; luff.
- to sail close to the shore.
- Golf. to putt on other than a direct line from the lie of the ball to the hole, to compensate for the incline or roll of the green.
- borrow trouble, to do something that is unnecessary and may cause future harm or inconvenience.
Origin of borrow
SynonymsSee more synonyms for borrow on Thesaurus.com
- George,1803–81, English traveler, writer, and student of languages, especially Romany.
Examples from the Web for borrow
To borrow an old right-wing talking point, these people are angry no matter what we do.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire
January 8, 2015
The rapid rise of the sharing economy is changing the way people around the world commute, shop, vacation, and borrow.Why Do ‘Progressives’ Want to Ban Uber and AirBnB?
Adam Thierer, Christopher Koopman
December 30, 2014
“I have coordinated with our foreign minister so we will borrow from other countries which have offered,” he said.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370
December 29, 2014
Much of what passes for political coverage these days is (to borrow a phrase) “bad Chucky.”Wanted: Less Terrible Political Coverage on TV
November 19, 2014
These marriages are “facts on the ground,” to borrow a phrase from the conflict in the Middle East.Gay Marriage Chaos Begins
November 11, 2014
If you ever want to borrow this boat, you'll have to apply to me.Brave and Bold
The next thing was to borrow a trifle of what was passing through his hands.Weighed and Wanting
Can you get yourself home from this spot, or shall I borrow a wheelbarrow and tote you there?Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Well, my son, I want to borrow your horse for the rest of the day.In the Midst of Alarms
This Tract is only a borrow'd Tract, and which may be drawn any way, as shall be most convenient.Orchesography
- to obtain or receive (something, such as money) on loan for temporary use, intending to give it, or something equivalent or identical, back to the lender
- to adopt (ideas, words, etc) from another source; appropriate
- not standard to lend
- golf to putt the ball uphill of the direct path to the hole
- (intr) golf (of a ball) to deviate from a straight path because of the slope of the ground
- golf a deviation of a ball from a straight path because of the slope of the grounda left borrow
- material dug from a borrow pit to provide fill at another
- living on borrowed time
- living an unexpected extension of life
- close to death
- George (Henry). 1803–81, English traveller and writer. His best-known works are the semiautobiographical novels of Gypsy life and language, Lavengro (1851) and its sequel The Romany Rye (1857)
Word Origin and History for borrow
Old English borgian "to lend, be surety for," from Proto-Germanic *borg "pledge" (cf. Old English borg "pledge, security, bail, debt," Old Norse borga "to become bail for, guarantee," Middle Dutch borghen "to protect, guarantee," Old High German boragen "to beware of," German borgen "to borrow; to lend"), from PIE *bhergh- "to hide, protect" (see bury). Sense shifted in Old English to "borrow," apparently on the notion of collateral deposited as security for something borrowed. Related: Borrowed; borrowing.
Idioms and Phrases with borrow
In addition to the idiom beginning with borrow
- borrow trouble
- beg, borrow, or steal
- on borrowed time