bor·row (bŏrō, bôrō)
v. bor·rowed, bor·row·ing, bor·rows
1. To obtain or receive (something) on loan with the promise or understanding of returning it or its equivalent.
2. To adopt or use as one's own: I borrowed your good idea.
3. In subtraction, to take a unit from the next larger denomination in the minuend so as to make a number larger than the number to be subtracted.
4. Linguistics To adopt (a word) from one language for use in another.
1. To borrow something.
2. Linguistics To adopt words from one language for use in another.
To take an unnecessary action that will probably engender adverse effects.
[Middle English borwen, from Old English borgian; see bhergh-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.