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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 amortized
Historical Examples
  • The fare just about amortized my travel allowance for the entire week.

    The Capgras Shift Sam Vaknin
  • What we pay you will have to be amortized over a period of years.

    Damned If You Don't Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for amortized


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 amortized



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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