Definitions

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

  • n. A very small, often short-term loan made to an impoverished entrepreneur, as in an underdeveloped country.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small loan, especially one extended to a poor person as part of a microcredit program of such lending intended to alleviate poverty.

Etymologies

micro- +‎ loan (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Ditto, c_b. There's also FINCA. :-)

    September 29, 2008

  • I initially heard about Kiva from a guy who worked for a different microloan nonprofit in DC. It's encouraging to see the # of repaid loans vs. the # of defaulted loans. The overwhelming majority of these folks make good, which is more than the average American can say.

    September 27, 2008

  • I'm a big fan of kiva! That's why I was surprised no one had listed microfinance. :)

    September 27, 2008

  • I love this word because it signifies a unique and seemingly effective method of making this world a better place.

    See www.kiva.org, for instance.

    September 27, 2008