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subprime

[suhb-prahym]
adjective
  1. being of less than top quality: a subprime grade of steel.
  2. being below a prime rate: banks engaging in subprime lending.
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Origin of subprime

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for subprime

subprime

adjective
  1. (of a loan) made to a borrower with a poor credit rating, usually at a high rate of interest
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noun
  1. a loan made to a borrower with a poor credit rating
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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 subprime

adj.

also sub-prime, of loans, etc., by 1978, in frequent use from 1996, from sub- + prime (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper