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[am-er-tahyz, uh-mawr-tahyz] /ˈæm ərˌtaɪz, əˈmɔr taɪz/
verb (used with object), amortized, amortizing.
  1. to liquidate or extinguish (a mortgage, debt, or other obligation), especially by periodic payments to the creditor or to a sinking fund.
  2. to write off a cost of (an asset) gradually.
Old English Law. to convey to a corporation or church group; alienate in mortmain.
Also, especially British, amortise.
Origin of amortize
1375-1425; Middle English amortisen < Anglo-French, Old French amortiss-, long stem of amortir literally, to kill, die < Vulgar Latin *a(d)mortīre (derivative of Latin mors, stem mort- death, with ad- ad-); -ize later replacing -is(s)-, probably by association with Anglo-Latin a(d)mortizāre
Related forms
amortizable, adjective
nonamortizable, adjective
unamortized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for amortize
  • Conventional mortgages have fixed rates and terms, with payments that amortize the debt by the end of the term.
  • Advertising on the blades would enable you to amortize the costs of getting clean renewable energy to supply your site.
  • Hopefully, some of the future plans will be dirt-cheap, allowing people to amortize the initial cost of the unlocked phone.
  • It also takes time to amortize the high cost of building a store.
  • IOs do not amortize principal and have higher remaining balances later in their life than amortizing mortgages.
  • He's versed in shipwreck history but would rather talk about how to minimize risks and amortize costs.
  • The cost of the graphics will be a dollar a day if you amortize the expense.
  • It probably cost plenty originally, and you clearly intend to amortize the investment by wearing it for many winters.
  • Seems as though they are neglecting to amortize construction emissions over a reasonably long lifetime.
  • They're going to put it on their books and amortize it over the length of their obligation to their retirees.
British Dictionary definitions for amortize


verb (transitive)
(finance) to liquidate (a debt, mortgage, etc) by instalment payments or by periodic transfers to a sinking fund
to write off (a wasting asset) by annual transfers to a sinking fund
(property law) (formerly) to transfer (lands, etc) in mortmain
Derived Forms
amortizable, amortisable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin admortizāre, from Old French amortir to reduce to the point of death, ultimately from Latin ad to + mors death
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amortize

late 14c., from Old French amortiss-, present participle stem of amortir "deaden," from Vulgar Latin *admortire "to extinguish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + mortus "dead," from Latin mors "death" (see mortal (adj.)). Originally a legal term for an act of alienating lands. Meaning "extinguish a debt" (in form amortization) is attested from 1824. Related: Amortized; amortizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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