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or (especially British) amortise

[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.
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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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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