- to liquidate or extinguish (a mortgage, debt, or other obligation), especially by periodic payments to the creditor or to a sinking fund.
- to write off a cost of (an asset) gradually.
- Old English Law. to convey to a corporation or church group; alienate in mortmain.
Origin of amortize
- finance to liquidate (a debt, mortgage, etc) by instalment payments or by periodic transfers to a sinking fund
- to write off (a wasting asset) by annual transfers to a sinking fund
- property law (formerly) to transfer (lands, etc) in mortmain
Word Origin for amortize
late 14c., from Old French amortiss-, present participle stem of amortir "deaden," from Vulgar Latin *admortire "to extinguish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + mortus "dead," from Latin mors "death" (see mortal (adj.)). Originally a legal term for an act of alienating lands. Meaning "extinguish a debt" (in form amortization) is attested from 1824. Related: Amortized; amortizing.