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

  • transitive v. To give or allow the use of temporarily on the condition that the same or its equivalent will be returned.
  • transitive v. To provide (money) temporarily on condition that the amount borrowed be returned, usually with an interest fee.
  • transitive v. To contribute or impart: Books and a fireplace lent a feeling of warmth to the room.
  • transitive v. To accommodate or offer (itself) to; be suitable for: The Bible lends itself to various interpretations.
  • intransitive v. To make a loan. See Usage Note at loan.
  • idiom lend a hand To be of assistance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The lumbar region; loin.
  • n. (of a person or animal) The loins; flank; buttocks.
  • v. to allow to be used by someone temporarily, on condition that it or its equivalent will be returned.
  • v. to make a loan
  • v. to be suitable or applicable, to fit
  • v. to borrow

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To allow the custody and use of, on condition of the return of the same; to grant the temporary use of; ; -- opposed to borrow.
  • transitive v. To allow the possession and use of, on condition of the return of an equivalent in kind.
  • transitive v. To afford; to grant or furnish in general
  • transitive v. To let for hire or compensation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In a general sense, to give; grant.
  • To give the use of without compensation; grant or give (anything) in expectation of a return of the same, or of the like in equal quantity or amount: as, to lend a book, a loaf of bread, or a sum of money.
  • To give the use of for a consideration; let or grant for hire; yield up on condition of return of the same or an equivalent, and payment for its use: as, to lend money on interest.
  • To give for a particular occasion or purpose; grant or yield temporarily or specifically; afford; accommodate (with or to): as, to lend one's ear to an appeal; to lend assistance: often used reflexively: as, to lend one's self to a project.
  • To furnish, impart, or communicate; confer; add: as, “distance lends enchantment to the view.”
  • To make a loan or loans.
  • To land; arrive; dwell; stay; remain.
  • n. A loan: as, will you give me the lend of your spade?
  • n. A Middle English form of land.

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

  • v. give temporarily; let have for a limited time
  • v. bestow a quality on
  • v. have certain characteristics of qualities for something; be open or vulnerable to


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

Middle English lenden, alteration of lenen (on the model of such verbs as senden, to send, whose past participle sent rhymed with lent, past participle of lenen), from Old English lǣnan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lende (usually in plural as lendes, leendes, lyndes), from Old English lendenu, lendinu ("loins", plural), from Proto-Germanic *landijō, *landį̄ (“loin”), from Proto-Indo-European *lendʰ- (“loin, kidney”). Cognate with Scots lend, leynd ("the loins, flank, buttocks"), Dutch lendenen ("loins, reins"), German Lenden ("loins"), Swedish länder ("loins"), Icelandic lendar ("loins"), Latin lumbus ("loin"), Russian лядвея (ljádveja, "thigh, haunch").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier len (with excrescent -d, as in sound, round, etc.), from Middle English lenen, lænen, from Old English lǣnan ("to lend; give, grant, lease"), from Proto-Germanic *laihnijanan (“to loan”), from Proto-Germanic *laihnan (“loan”), from Proto-Indo-European *leykʷ- (“to leave, leave over”). Cognate with Scots len, lend ("to lend"), West Frisian liene ("to lend, borrow, loan"), Dutch lenen ("to lend, borrow, loan"), German lehnen ("to borrow, lend out, loan"), Swedish låna ("to lend, loan"), Icelandic lána ("to lend, loan"), Icelandic léna ("to grant"), Latin linquō ("quit, leave, forlet"), Ancient Greek λείπω (léipō, "leave, release"). See also loan.



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  • The ngram data bears you out, ptero. I share your dejection; this is a such a pleasant, well-seeming word.

    January 18, 2012

  • This word seems to be dying out, in favor of "loan" (as a verb). This could be because "lend" is an irregular verb, or because people prefer to use the same word ("loan") as both the noun and the verb. Or, most likely, for both reasons.

    I'm sad about this. I Iike the word "lend", and I'd hate to see its demise. Why should we make "loan" do double duty, when we already have a lovely little verb to do the job?

    January 18, 2012

  • Prestar // lend ≈ loan; lend ≠ borrow // WordReference

    October 19, 2007