[ bor-oh, bawr-oh ]
/ ˈbɒr oʊ, ˈbɔr oʊ /
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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.
Don’t Get Into Double Trouble With Double NegativesYou’ll write a stronger sentence when you put statements in a positive form. It’s easy to fall into a double-negative trap. Here’s how to side step them.
borrow trouble, to do something that is unnecessary and may cause future harm or inconvenience.
Origin of borrow
before 900; Middle English borowen, Old English borgian to borrow, lend, derivative of borg a pledge; akin to Dutch borg a pledge, borgen to charge, give credit, German Borg credit, borgen to take on credit
bor·row·a·ble, adjectivebor·row·er, nounnon·bor·rowed, adjectivenon·bor·row·er, noun
o·ver·bor·row, verbun·bor·rowed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for borrow trouble (1 of 2)
/ (ˈbɒrəʊ) /
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
Derived Formsborrower, noun
Word Origin for borrow
Old English borgian; related to Old High German borgēn to take heed, give security
The use of off after borrow was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable in informal contexts
British Dictionary definitions for borrow trouble (2 of 2)
/ (ˈbɒrəʊ) /
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)
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
Idioms and Phrases with borrow trouble (1 of 2)
Go out of one's way to do something that may be harmful, as in Just sign the will—telling her about it ahead of time is borrowing trouble. [Mid-1800s] Also see ask for, def. 2.
Idioms and Phrases with borrow trouble (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with borrow
- borrow trouble
- beg, borrow, or steal
- on borrowed time
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.