1. the practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate 2. an excessive or illegally high rate of interest charged on borrowed money.

My wife used this word the other day. I can’t remember why. I think she was teasing me about something.

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3 Responses to usury

  1. Dad says:

    Somewhere in the scripture (Mom thinks Proverbs) it says “neither a borrower nor a lender be”. If mankind had followed that precept – just think – there wouldn’t be such a word as usury, right? By the way, when does an interest rate become exorbitant or excessive?

  2. Rena Wallace says:

    now you got me goin’ — I’m going to have to track down who said “neither a borrower nor a lender be”.
    It sounds like a Ben Franklin aphorism, but also sounds like something the Hamlet character Polonius would say, along with “…this above all, to thine own self be true.” All word talk aside, now that I am paying interest rates of 23%, I wish usury has not lost its place among the pantheon of the seven deadly sins!

  3. Actually, I’m pretty sure that it was Polonius who said, “neither a borrower nor a lender be.” If I recall correctly, it was when he was giving advice to Laertes before shipping him off somewhere. And I think it was the same speech in which he said, “To thine own self be true.”

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