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[yoo-zher-er] /ˈyu ʒər ər/
a person who lends money and charges interest, especially at an exorbitant or unlawful rate; moneylender.
Obsolete. a person who lends money at interest.
Origin of usurer
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin ūsūrārius, equivalent to ūsūr(ia) usury + Latin -ārius -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for usurer
Historical Examples
  • The usurer says, Care for my property and pay me for the opportunity.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • He was a usurer, though he could be very liberal when his policy demanded.

  • May the usurer search all his substance: and let strangers plunder his labours.

  • A mere hint of encouragement to the usurer came from Calvin.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • It was the soul of a usurer, inhabiting now the body of a war-captain, now transmigrating into that of a huckster.

  • Indeed it is very rare for a man to be honest and yet a usurer.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • I have money, Iris, and I have paid the usurer enough to satisfy him.

    In Luck at Last Walter Besant
  • The usurer gains the earnings of the borrower but parts with no property.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • The usurer and the borrower on usury, both, reverse the true order by assuming that a thing can claim man's service.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • The usurer's whole claim is for the service of his property.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
British Dictionary definitions for usurer


a person who lends funds at an exorbitant rate of interest
(obsolete) a moneylender
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 usurer

late 13c., from Old French usurier, from Medieval Latin usurarius "usurer," from Latin adj. usurarius "pertaining to interest," from usura (see usury).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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