a conveyance of an interest in property as security for the repayment of money borrowed.
the deed by which such a transaction is effected.
the rights conferred by it, or the state of the property conveyed.

verb (used with object), mort·gaged, mort·gag·ing.

Law. to convey or place (real property) under a mortgage.
to place under advance obligation; pledge: to mortgage one's life to the defense of democracy.

Origin of mortgage

1350–1400; earlier morgage, Middle English < Old French mortgage, equivalent to mort dead (< Latin mortuus) + gage pledge, gage1
Related formso·ver·mort·gage, verb, o·ver·mort·gaged, o·ver·mort·gag··mort·gage, verb (used with object), re·mort·gaged, re·mort·gag·ing.sub·mort·gage, nounun·mort·gage, verb (used with object), un·mort·gaged, un·mort·gag·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of mortgage

Historical Examples of mortgage

British Dictionary definitions for mortgage



an agreement under which a person borrows money to buy property, esp a house, and the lender may take possession of the property if the borrower fails to repay the money
the deed effecting such an agreement
the loan obtained under such an agreementa mortgage of £48 000
a regular payment of money borrowed under such an agreementa mortgage of £247 per month

verb (tr)

to pledge (a house or other property) as security for the repayment of a loan


of or relating to a mortgagea mortgage payment
Derived Formsmortgageable, adjective

Word Origin for mortgage

C14: from Old French, literally: dead pledge, from mort dead + gage security, gage 1
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 mortgage

late 14c., morgage, "conveyance of property as security for a loan or agreement," from Old French morgage (13c.), mort gaige, literally "dead pledge" (replaced in modern Frech by hypothèque), from mort "dead" (see mortal (adj.)) + gage "pledge" (see wage (n.)). So called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails. Old French mort is from Vulgar Latin *mortus "dead," from Latin mortuus, past participle of mori "to die" (see mortal (adj.)). The -t- restored in English based on Latin.


late 15c., from mortgage (n.). Related: Mortgaged; mortgaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for mortgage



A legal agreement that creates an interest in real estate between a borrower and a lender. Commonly used to purchase homes, mortgages specify the terms by which the purchaser borrows from the lender (usually a bank or a savings and loan association), using his or her title to the house as security for the unpaid balance of the loan.

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.