General English


  • noun payment made by a borrower for the use of money, calculated as a percentage of the capital borrowed
  • noun money paid as income on investments or loans
  • noun a part of the ownership of something, e.g. if you invest money in a company you acquire a financial share or interest in it


  • noun a part of the ownership of something, such as money invested in a company giving a financial share in it

Health Economics

  • (written as Interest)
    A payment for the use of borrowed money denoted as a percentage of the sum borrowed.


  • noun a charge to be paid for borrowing money, usually calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed
  • noun a right, title or legal share in something


  • noun the right or title to a property or money invested in a company or financial share in, and part control over, a company


  • noun a feeling of wanting to know about something


  • acronymINTREST

Origin & History of “interest”

The Latin verb interesse meant literally ‘be between’ (it was a compound of inter ‘between’ and esse ‘be’). It was used metaphorically for ‘be of concern, be important, matter’, and appears to have been borrowed into Anglo-Norman as a noun, meaning ‘what one has a legal concern in or share of’. English took this over in the 14th century as interesse, but it gradually changed over the next hundred years or so into interest, mainly due to the influence of Old French interest ‘damage’, which came from the third person present singular form of the Latin verb. The main modern sense ‘curiosity’ developed towards the end of the 18th century.