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See more synonyms for lent on Thesaurus.com
  1. simple past tense and past participle of lend.
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Related formsun·lent, adjectivewell-lent, adjective


  1. (in the Christian religion) an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
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Origin of Lent

before 1000; Middle English lente(n), Old English lencten, lengten spring, Lent, literally, lengthening (of daylight hours); cognate with Dutch lente, German Lenz spring; see Lenten
Related formspost-Lent, adjective


verb (used with object), lent, lend·ing.
  1. to grant the use of (something) on condition that it or its equivalent will be returned.
  2. to give (money) on condition that it is returned and that interest is paid for its temporary use.
  3. to give or contribute obligingly or helpfully: to lend one's aid to a cause.
  4. to adapt (oneself or itself) to something: The building should lend itself to inexpensive remodeling.
  5. to furnish or impart: Distance lends enchantment to the view.
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verb (used without object), lent, lend·ing.
  1. to make a loan.
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  1. lend a hand, to give help; aid: If everyone lends a hand, we can have dinner ready in half an hour.
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Origin of lend

before 900; Middle English lenden, variant (orig. past tense) of lenen, Old English lǣnan (cognate with Dutch lenen, German lehnen, Old Norse lāna), derivative of lǣn loan; cognate with German Lehnen, Old Norse lān. See loan1
Related formslend·er, nounin·ter·lend, verb, in·ter·lent, in·ter·lend·ing.o·ver·lend, verb, o·ver·lent, o·ver·lend·ing.re·lend, verb (used with object), re·lent, re·lend·ing.
Can be confusedborrow lend loan


  1. a suffix occurring in loanwords from Latin, variant of -ulent: pestilent.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for lent


Examples from the Web for lent

Contemporary Examples of lent

Historical Examples of lent

  • But the damage would not have happened if Will had not lent the boat to me.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Lent her by Father Christopher of the priory, forsooth—that is ever her answer.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • And the books are lent to any person in each section who wishes to read them?

  • The officers came down at night, and lent us a hand with the work.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • What may we not do with them, if it were not for the season of Lent?

British Dictionary definitions for lent


  1. the past tense and past participle of lend
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  1. Christianity the period of forty weekdays lasting from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, observed as a time of penance and fasting commemorating Jesus' fasting in the wilderness
  2. (modifier) falling within or associated with the season before EasterLent observance
  3. (plural) (at Cambridge University) Lent term boat races
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Word Origin for Lent

Old English lencten, lengten spring, literally: lengthening (of hours of daylight)


verb lends, lending or lent (lɛnt)
  1. (tr) to permit the use of (something) with the expectation of return of the same or an equivalent
  2. to provide (money) temporarily, often at interest
  3. (intr) to provide loans, esp as a profession
  4. (tr) to impart or contribute (something, esp some abstract quality)her presence lent beauty
  5. (tr) to provide, esp in order to assist or supporthe lent his skill to the company
  6. lend an ear to listen
  7. lend itself to possess the right characteristics or qualities forthe novel lends itself to serialization
  8. lend oneself to give support, cooperation, etc
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Derived Formslender, noun

Word Origin for lend

C15 lende (originally the past tense), from Old English lǣnan, from lǣn loan 1; related to Icelandic lāna, Old High German lēhanōn
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 lent



late 14c., short for Lenten (n.) "forty days before Easter" (early 12c.), from Old English lencten "springtime, spring," the season, also "the fast of Lent," from West Germanic *langa-tinaz "long-days" (cf. Old Saxon lentin, Middle Dutch lenten, Old High German lengizin manoth), from *lanngaz (root of Old English lang "long;" see long (adj.)) + *tina-, a root meaning "day" (cf. Gothic sin-teins "daily"), cognate with Old Church Slavonic dini, Lithuanian diena, Latin dies "day" (see diurnal).

the compound probably refers to the increasing daylight. Cf. similar form evolution in Dutch lente (Middle Dutch lentin), German Lenz (Old High German lengizin) "spring." Church sense of "period between Ash Wednesday and Easter" is peculiar to English.

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late 14c., from Old English lænan "to lend," from læn "loan" (see loan). Cognate with Dutch lenen, Old High German lehanon, German lehnen, also verbs derived from nouns. Past tense form, with terminal -d, became the principal form in Middle English on analogy of bend, send, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lent in Culture


In Christianity, a time of fasting and repentance in the spring, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending several weeks later on Easter.

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To “give something up for Lent” is to abandon a pleasurable habit as an act of devotion and self-discipline.
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.