usury

[yoo-zhuh-ree]
noun, plural usuries.
1.
the lending or practice of lending money at an exorbitant interest.
2.
an exorbitant amount or rate of interest, especially in excess of the legal rate.
3.
Obsolete. interest paid for the use of money.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English usurie < Medieval Latin ūsūria (compare Latin ūsūra), equivalent to Latin ūs(us) (see use) + -ūr(a) -ure + -ia -y3

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Collins
World English Dictionary
usury (ˈjuːʒərɪ)
 
n , pl -ries
1.  the act or practice of loaning money at an exorbitant rate of interest
2.  an exorbitant or unlawfully high amount or rate of interest
3.  obsolete moneylending
 
[C14: from Medieval Latin ūsūria, from Latin ūsūra usage, from ūsususe]
 
usurious
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

usury
c.1300, from M.L. usuria, from L. usura "usury, interest," from usus, from stem of uti (see use). Originally the practice of lending money at interest, later, at excessive rates of interest.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
usury [(yooh-zhuh-ree)]

The practice of charging more than the legal interest rate.

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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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Usury definition


the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in the modern sense, exorbitant interest. The Jews were forbidden to exact usury (Lev. 25:36, 37), only, however, in their dealings with each other (Deut. 23:19, 20). The violation of this law was viewed as a great crime (Ps. 15:5; Prov. 28:8; Jer. 15:10). After the Return, and later, this law was much neglected (Neh. 5:7, 10).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Usury refers to exorbitant rates of interest, which is hardly the description
  of the lending environment over the last few years.
The usury laws were the first consumer protection laws.
Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.
What these credit cards companies do is beyond a doubt usury.
Synonyms
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