9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh-lat-er-uh l] /kəˈlæt ər əl/
security pledged for the payment of a loan:
He gave the bank some stocks and bonds as collateral for the money he borrowed.
  1. a subordinate or accessory part.
  2. a side branch, as of a blood vessel or nerve.
  3. collateral circulation.
a relative descended from the same stock, but in a different line.
accompanying; auxiliary:
He received a scholarship and collateral aid.
additional; confirming:
collateral evidence; collateral security.
secured by collateral:
a collateral loan.
aside from the main subject, course, etc.; secondary:
These accomplishments are merely collateral to his primary goal.
descended from the same stock, but in a different line; not lineal:
A cousin is a collateral relative.
pertaining to those so descended.
situated at the side:
a collateral wing of a house.
situated or running side by side; parallel:
collateral ridges of mountains.
Botany. standing side by side.
Origin of collateral
1350-1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin collaterālis, equivalent to col- col-1 + laterālis lateral
Related forms
[koh-lat-uh-ral-i-tee] /koʊˌlæt əˈræl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
collateralness, noun
collaterally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for collateral
  • And while the game allows players to use drones, they don't do collateral damage.
  • He bombed a specific military target, accepting that there would be collateral damage.
  • He was encouraged in this change of heart by the housing collapse, in which the market for lawn seed was collateral damage.
  • Individually and collectively, they were frequently used as collateral in all kinds of business transactions.
  • In one such instance, it was used as collateral for a cache of diamonds that failed to materialize.
  • In addition, candidates should have a strong collateral focus and expertise in an important area of auditory perception.
  • The college, with millions in debt that exceeded its endowment, was forced to use its campus as collateral for a loan.
  • When that happens, future parties with more sympathetic cases become collateral damage.
  • At its insertion the tendon divides into two portions, which embrace the fibular collateral ligament of the knee-joint.
  • So it probably will be with many whole collateral lines of descent, which will be conquered by later and improved lines.
British Dictionary definitions for collateral


/kɒˈlætərəl; kə-/
  1. security pledged for the repayment of a loan
  2. (as modifier): a collateral loan
a person, animal, or plant descended from the same ancestor as another but through a different line
situated or running side by side
descended from a common ancestor but through different lines
serving to support or corroborate
aside from the main issue
uniting in tendency
Derived Forms
collaterally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin collaterālis, from Latin com- together + laterālis of the side, from latus side
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 collateral

late 14c., "accompanying," also "descended from the same stock," from Old French collateral (13c.), from Medieval Latin collateralis "accompanying," literally "side by side," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + lateralis "of the side," from latus "a side" (see oblate (n.)). Literal sense of "parallel, along the side of" attested in English from mid-15c. Related: Collaterally.


16c., "colleague, associate," from collateral (adj.). Meaning "thing given as security" is from 1832, American English, from phrase collateral security (1720).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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collateral in Medicine

collateral col·lat·er·al (kə-lāt'ər-əl)

  1. Indirect, subsidiary, or accessory to the main thing.

  2. Having an ancestor in common but descended from a different line.

  1. A branch of a nerve axon or blood vessel.

  2. A collateral relative.

col·lat'er·al·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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collateral in Culture

collateral definition

Property or its equivalent that a debtor deposits with a creditor to guarantee repayment of a debt.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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