SYNONYMS | WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS 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. . Nautical 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. Idioms 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 Related forms bor·row·a·ble, adjective bor·row·er, noun non·bor·rowed, adjective non·bor·row·er, noun o·ver·bor·row, verb un·bor·rowed, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for borrow trouble verb 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 noun golf a deviation of a ball from a straight path because of the slope of the ground a 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 Forms borrower, noun Word Origin for borrow
borgian; related to Old High German borgēn to take heed, give security usage
The use of
off after borrow was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable in informal contexts noun 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
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Word Origin and History for borrow trouble v.
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with borrow trouble
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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with
beg, borrow, or steal on borrowed time
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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