Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To liquidate (a debt, such as a mortgage) by installment payments or payment into a sinking fund.
  • transitive v. To write off an expenditure for (office equipment, for example) by prorating over a certain period.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To alienate (property) in mortmain.
  • v. To wipe out (a debt, liability etc.) gradually or in installments.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make as if dead; to destroy.
  • transitive v. To alienate in mortmain, that is, to convey to a corporation. See Mortmain.
  • transitive v. To clear off or extinguish, as a debt, usually by means of a sinking fund.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • . To make dead; deaden; destroy.
  • In law, to alienate in mortmain, that is, to convey to a corporation, sole or aggregate, ecclesiastical or temporal, and their successors. See mortmain.
  • To extinguish, as a debt, by means of a sinking-fund.
  • To droop; hang as dead.

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

  • v. liquidate gradually

Etymologies

Middle English amortisen, to alienate in mortmain, from Old French amortir, amortiss-, from Vulgar Latin *admortīre, to deaden : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin mors, mort-, death; see mer- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From (the stem of) Middle French amortir ("to bring to death"), probably from Late Latin *admortīre, from Latin ad + mortem. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Her training group was being pressured to "leverage" or, in English, amortize the investment in the videoconference system.

    It's the method, not the medium

  • The trouble for the Hyatt's owner, Rockwood Capital LLC, is that last December the hotel's mortgage started to amortize, meaning the hotel had to start paying not only interest but also a portion of the loan's principal.

    Feuding Parties, Fighting No More

  • The pilot process is a monstrous waste of time and money, stunningly inefficient an you say "amortize" kids?

    Re-Arranging the Deck Chairs

  • That's also true of his plan to "amortize" sharply increased pension costs over a 10-year period - which will reduce a 52% annual increase in pension contributions to a still-whopping 33% increase.

    NY Post: News

  • The pay-as-you-go model of cloud computing, even though it can be more expensive in many instances, when you really kind of amortize the cost over many years, is something that's attractive to at least United States IT.

    BriefingsDirect Transcripts

  • The appropriate response to this environment is for Congress to provide an additional two years over which these companies can amortize their 2007 and 2008 losses, with the first two years of this extended amortization period requiring only interest payments on the obligation.

    Sears Chairman Unleashes 15-Page Manifesto About Um, Everything - The Consumerist

  • But that's blue collar career criminals, who can if need be amortize a few years of unexpected jail time as a cost of doing business, and return to the 'hood with no shame, and perhaps even increased stature.

    Nicholas Carroll: Making the Case Against Mortgage Banksters, Part Two: Financing Prosecution

  • The balloon may be squeezed differently over time, and insurers may amortize the cost differently over time, but eventually prices will find an equilibrium.

    Immaculate Contraception

  • RECENT EXCERPT ABOUT REFINANCING: To find out your real potential savings from a refi make sure to ask your mortgage broker to amortize the new loan over the remaining period of your current loan.

    Keys to Making the Write Investments

  • Have your broker amortize the new mortgage over 28 vs. 30 years to see an apples to apples comparison.

    Keys to Making the Write Investments

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