Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated or running side by side; parallel.
  • adj. Coinciding in tendency or effect; concomitant or accompanying.
  • adj. Serving to support or corroborate: collateral evidence.
  • adj. Of a secondary nature; subordinate: collateral target damage from a bombing run.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or guaranteed by a security pledged against the performance of an obligation: a collateral loan.
  • adj. Having an ancestor in common but descended from a different line.
  • n. Property acceptable as security for a loan or other obligation.
  • n. A collateral relative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. parallel, along the same vein, side by side.
  • adj. Corresponding; accompanying, concomitant.
  • adj. being aside from the main subject; tangential, subordinate, ancillary.
  • adj. of an indirect ancestral relationship, as opposed to lineal descendency.
  • adj. relating to a collateral in the sense of an obligation or security
  • adj. expensive to the extent of being paid through a loan
  • n. A security or guarantee (usually an asset) pledged for the repayment of a loan if one cannot procure enough funds to repay. (Originally supplied as "accompanying" security.)
  • n. A collateral (not linear) family member.
  • n. A branch of a bodily part or system of organs

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Coming from, being on, or directed toward, the side.
  • adj. Acting in an indirect way.
  • adj. Related to, but not strictly a part of, the main thing or matter under consideration; hence, subordinate; not chief or principal.
  • adj. Tending toward the same conclusion or result as something else; additional.
  • adj. Descending from the same stock or ancestor, but not in the same line or branch or one from the other; -- opposed to lineal.
  • n. A collateral relative.
  • n. Collateral security; that which is pledged or deposited as collateral security.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Situated at the side: belonging to the side or to what is at the side; hence, occupying a secondary or subordinate position.
  • Acting indirectly; acting through side channels.
  • Accompanying; attendant, especially as an auxiliary; aiding, strengthening, confirming, etc., in a secondary or subordinate way: as, collateral aid; collateral security (see below); collateral evidence.
  • Descending from the same stock or ancestor (commonly male) as another, but in a different line: distinguished from lineal.
  • In botany, standing side by side: as, collateral ovules.
  • In geometry, having a common edge, as two adjoining faces of a polyhedron.
  • n. A kinsman or relative descended from a common ancestor, but not in direct line.
  • n. Anything of value, or representing value, as bonds, deeds, etc., pledged as security in addition to a direct obligation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. accompany, concomitant
  • adj. situated or running side by side
  • adj. descended from a common ancestor but through different lines
  • adj. serving to support or corroborate
  • n. a security pledged for the repayment of a loan

Etymologies

Middle English, from Medieval Latin collaterālis : Latin com-, com- + Latin latus, later-, side.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since c.1378, from Old French, from Medieval Latin collaterālis, from Latin col- ("together with") (a form of con-) + the stem of latus ("side"). (Wiktionary)

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