[ kuh-lat-er-uhl ]
See synonyms for collateral on
  1. Finance. property or other assets pledged by a borrower as security for the repayment of a loan: He gave the bank stocks and bonds as collateral for the money he borrowed.

  2. Anatomy.

  1. a relative descended from the same stock, but in a different line.

  1. accompanying; auxiliary: He received a scholarship and collateral aid.

  2. additional; confirming: collateral evidence;collateral security.

  1. secured by collateral: a collateral loan.

  2. aside from the main subject, course, etc.; secondary: These accomplishments are merely collateral to his primary goal.

  3. descended from the same stock, but in a different line; not lineal: A cousin is a collateral relative.

  4. pertaining to those so descended.

  5. situated at the side: a collateral wing of a house.

  6. situated or running side by side; parallel: collateral ridges of mountains.

  7. Botany. standing side by side.

Origin of collateral

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Medieval Latin collaterālis, equivalent to col- a variant of com- + Latin laterālis “on the side of the body”; see col-1 lateral

Other words from collateral

  • col·lat·er·al·i·ty [koh-lat-uh-ral-i-tee], /koʊˌlæt əˈræl ɪ ti/, col·lat·er·al·ness, noun
  • col·lat·er·al·ly, adverb

Words Nearby collateral Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use collateral in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for collateral


/ (kɒˈlætərəl, kə-) /

    • security pledged for the repayment of a loan

    • (as modifier): a collateral loan

  1. a person, animal, or plant descended from the same ancestor as another but through a different line

  1. situated or running side by side

  2. descended from a common ancestor but through different lines

  1. serving to support or corroborate

  2. aside from the main issue

  3. uniting in tendency

Origin of collateral

C14: from Medieval Latin collaterālis, from Latin com- together + laterālis of the side, from latus side

Derived forms of collateral

  • collaterally, adverb

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

Cultural definitions for collateral


Property or its equivalent that a debtor deposits with a creditor to guarantee repayment of a debt.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.