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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Interest

Meaning of Interest

In relation to being objectively concerned in something, by having a right or title to, a claim upon, or a share in. legal concern in a thing; especially right or title to property . Advantage or benefit . Thus a declaration by a deceased person against his own pecuniary or proprietary interest is admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule. Generally the term is used in relation to property to denote a right which is less than absolute ownership. No doubt the word can be used to refer to the interest of an absolute owner of property, but it would be a rare use. A much more common use of the word would be to refer to such interest as a beneficiary may have in trust property. When considered in relation to money , denotes the return or consideration , or compensation for the use or retention by one party of a sum of money or other property belonging to another. It may take the form of a lump sum payment or periodical payments at a rate per cent . Such interest is either simple or compound . compound interest is, simply stated, the calculation of interest on interest; that is interest is calculated to date, added to the principal and then further interest begins to accrue on the compound figure. simple interest on the other hand is interest computed on the principal only. In relation to actions, a person is said to have an interest in the same if he has a legal or pecuniary interest in the outcome of the suit. Such interest must be of a present direct and immediate character . See Bern- heimer v Bernheimer, 196 P.2d 813, 87 Cal.App.2d 242.

Interest Alternative Definition

(Lat.) It concerns; it is of advantage. In Contracts. The right of property which a man has in a thing. See Insurable Interest. On Debts. The compensation which is paid by the borrower of money to the lender for its use, and, generally, by a debtor to his creditor in recompense for his detention of the debt.

Financial Definition of Interest

The price paid for borrowing money. It is expressed as a percentage rate over a period of time and reflects the rate of exchange of present consumption for future consumption. Also, a share or title in property.

Legal Definition of Interest

Payments borrowers pay lenders for the use of their money. A corporation pays interest on its bonds to its bondholders. (See: Bond, Dividend)

Synonyms of Interest

(Concern), noun

  • absorption
  • admiration
  • anxiety
  • application
  • assiduity
  • attention
  • attention to detail
  • awe
  • care
  • close attention
  • concentration
  • conscientiousness
  • consequence
  • consideration
  • curiosity
  • curiousness
  • desire to knowdiligent attention
  • disposition to inquire
  • eagerness
  • enthusiasm
  • esteem
  • excitement
  • gravity
  • heed
  • heedfulness
  • import
  • importance
  • inclination to ask questions
  • intentiveness
  • intentness
  • mark
  • meddling
  • meticulosity
  • mindfulness
  • minute attention
  • minuteness
  • moment
  • note
  • pertinence
  • preoccupation
  • prying
  • questioning
  • regard
  • regardfulness
  • relevance
  • reverence
  • salience
  • significance
  • solicitude
  • studiousness
  • studium
  • thoughtfulness
  • undivided attention
  • veneration
  • weight
  • weightiness
  • worry Associated Concepts: conflict of interest
  • declaration against interest
  • direct interest
  • insurable interest
  • interest in the controversy
  • interested witness
  • legal interest
  • material interest
  • real party in interest
  • united in interest

(Ownership), noun

  • assets
  • belongings
  • claim
  • dominion
  • droit
  • holding
  • lawful possession
  • part
  • participation
  • percentage of ownership
  • portion
  • possession
  • property
  • proprietorship
  • right
  • right of ownership
  • rightful possession
  • seisin
  • share
  • stake
  • title
  • Associated Concepts: accounts bearing interest
  • assignable interest
  • beneficial interest
  • common interest
  • contingent interest
  • continuity of interest
  • controlling interest
  • future interest
  • interest in land
  • joint interest
  • legal interest
  • legal rate of interest
  • life interest
  • person interested in a will
  • property interest
  • qualified interest
  • remainder interest
  • remaining interest
  • transfer of interest
  • undivided interestforeign phrases: Nemo plus juris ad alienum transjerre potest quam ipse habet
  • No one can transfer to another any greater right than he himself has

(Profit), noun

  • accrual
  • advantage
  • dividend
  • earnings
  • faenus
  • gain
  • increment
  • monetary benefit
  • monetary gain
  • premium for the use of money
  • profit from money loaned
  • usura Associated Concepts: legal rate of interest
  • usury


  • absorb
  • affect
  • arouse
  • arouse notice
  • arouse one’s enthusiasm
  • attract
  • attract notice
  • beguile
  • catch the eye
  • concern
  • delectare
  • divert one’s attention
  • engage the attention
  • engage the mind
  • engage the thoughts
  • engross
  • engross the mind
  • engross the thoughts
  • entangle
  • entertain
  • enthrall
  • entice
  • excite
  • fascinate
  • grip
  • hold the attention
  • inspire
  • involve
  • move
  • occupy
  • occupy the attention
  • pique
  • placere
  • rouse
  • stir
  • tantalize
  • tempt
  • tenere
  • titillate
  • touch
  • whet one’s interest

Related Entries of Interest in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Interest in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Interest in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Interest in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Interest in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Abandon, Abstract Of Title, Acceleration Clause, Active, Adjusted Taxable Income, Admissions, Against Interest, Agency Coupled With Interest, Agency Of Necessity, Appellee, Appointment, Power Of, Arm’s Length, Assessment, Assignment, Assignment Of Contract, Attainder, Average, Bare Trustee, Bargaining Unit, Base Fee, Beneficial Interest, , Borrow, , Capacity, Capital Gain, Caution, Censorship, Certificate Of Stock, Chattels, Chose, Claim, Class Action, Clog On Equity Of Redemption, Co-insurance, Collateral Matter, Compound Interest, Comprehensive Zoning Plan, Concern, Concerned, Conditional Sale, Condominium, Conflict Of Interest, Consideration, Consul, Contiguity, Conveyance, Coparcener, Coparcenary, Copyhold, Coupons, Curtesy, Daily Balances, Debenture, Declaration Against Interest, Dedication, , Defraud, Descent, Determinable, Devolution, Disclaim, Disclaimer, Discovery, Distrain, Divest, Dividend, Dower, Dummy, Easement, Ejectment, Electric Utility Company, Employer, Encumbrance, Equitable Assignment, Equitable Estate, Equitable Interests, Equitable Mortgage, Equity Of Redemption, Estate, Estate For Years, Estate In Tail After Possibility Of Issue Extinct:, Ex Parte, Executory Interest, Expectancy, Extinguishment, Face Amount, Face Value, Fair Comment, Free Bench, , Future Interests, Gavelkind, , , Grant, Ground-rent, Guardian, Habendum, Hereditament, Homestead, Household, Illegal Interest, Imperfect Mortgage, Inalienability, Inchoate, Incumbrance, Indispensable Parties, Inheritance Tax, Insurable Interest, Insurance, Interesse Termini, Interruption, Issue, Joint, Joint Enterprise, Joint Tenancy, Joint Venture, Jointure, Judgment In Quasi Rem, Judgment In Rem, Judicial Power, Just Cause, Lease, Legal Title, License, , Life Interest, Limitation, Livery Of Seisin, , Margin Account, Marine Insurance, , Merger, Mineral Estate, Mining Claim, Monopoly, , Moratory Interest, Necessary Parties, Newspaper, Nominal Party, Non-joinder, Nuisance, Obscene, , Particular Average, Perpetuities, Rule Against, Perpetuity, Personal Property, Point, Pornographic, Possibility Of Reverter, Power, Power Of Appointment, Prejudice, Principal, Prior, Privies, Privilege, Privity, Profit A Prendre, Property, Punitive Damages, Purchase, Quit Claim, Rate Of Return, Real Party In Interest, Real Property, Reasonable Time, Refund Annuity, Registered Bond, Relator, Release, Relinquish, Judgment In Rem, Remainder, Rescission, Resettlement, Restrictive Covenants, Rests, Resulting Trust, Right Of Entry, Right Of First Publication, Sectarian, Secured Party, Security Interest, Seisin, Livery Of, Self-serving Declaration, Rule In Shelley’s Case, Simple Interest, Simple Licence, Sinking Fund, Small Business Act, Special Counsel, Special Interest, Spendthrift Trust, Stake Holder, Standing, Sublease, Subrogation, Supervisor, Survivorship, , Tenancy In Common, Tenant, Tenant By The Curtesy, Term Of Years, Torrens’ System, Transfer, Trust.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Interest in the Dictionary Interest in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Interest
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Interest in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Interest is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Interest (more about URIs)

English Spanish Translation of Interest


Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Interest) and the Word reference legal translator.

Interest in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of interest.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Interest

(You may find interest at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

mid-15c., “legal claim or right; a concern; a benefit, advantage, a being concerned or affected (advantageously),” from Old French interest “damage, loss, harm” (Modern French intérêt), from noun use of Latin interest “it is of importance, it makes a difference,” third person singular present of interresse “to concern, make a difference, be of importance,” literally “to be between,” from inter “between” (see inter-) + esse “to be” (see essence). The sense development to “profit, advantage” in French and English is not entirely clear. The earlier Middle English word was interesse (late 14c.), from Anglo-French interesse “what one has a legal concern in,” from Medieval Latin interesse “compensation for loss,” noun use of Latin interresse (compare German Interesse, from the same Medieval Latin source). Financial sense of “money paid for the use of money lent” (1520s) earlier was distinguished from usury (illegal under Church law) by being in reference to “compensation due from a defaulting debtor.” Sense of “personal or selfish consideration” is from 1620s. Meaning “business in which several people are interested” is from 1670s. Meaning “curiosity, feeling that something concerns one, appreciative or sympathetic regard” is first attested 1771. Interest group is attested from 1907; interest rate by 1868.


Legal English Vocabulary: Interest in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term interest into Spanish: interés (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Work
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

Interest in the Economic Activity

An introductory concept of Interest may be: the return a saver receives in addition to the original amount she deposited, and the amount that a borrower must pay in addition to the original amount she deposited

Accrued Interest Definition (in the Accounting Vocabulary)

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants offers the following definition of Accrued Interest in a way that is easy for anybody to understand: INTEREST that has accumulated between the most recent payment and the sale of a BOND or other fixed-income security.

Interest Definition (in the Accounting Vocabulary)

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants offers the following definition of Interest in a way that is easy for anybody to understand: Payment for the use or forbearance of money.

United States Tax Concept of Interest

The amount a borrower pays for the use of money for a given period of time. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the amount of the loan for each period of time.

Concept of Interest in the context of Real Property

Alternatives definitions of Interest: (1) A share or right in some property. (2) Money charged for the use of money (principal).

Concept of Interest in the context of Real Property

Alternatives definitions of Interest: (1) A share or right in some property. (2) Money charged for the use of money (principal).

Concept of “Interest”

Traditional meaning of interest in English (with some legal use of this latin concept in England and the United States in the XIX Century) [1]: (in Latin) It concerns; it benefits. Interest reipublicae, it is of public importance, ne maleficia remaneant impunita, that crimes should not remain unpunished; ne sua quis male utatur, that no one make bad use of his property; quod homines conserventur, that’ the [lives of] men be preserved; res judicatas non rescindi, that things once adjudged should not be rescinded; suprema hominum testamenta rata haberi, that men’s last wills be held valid; ut carceres sint in tuto, that prisons be secure; ut finis sit litium, that there should be an end of suits.


Notes and References

  1. Based on A Concise Law Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Maxims, “Interest”, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1911, United States. It is also called the Stimson’s Law dictionary. This term and/or definition may be absolete.

See Also






See Also

  • Income Distribution
  • Bankruptcy
  • Inequality

Hierarchical Display of Interest

Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit policy > Cost of borrowing
Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit > Borrowing
Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit > Loan
Economics > National accounts > Income > Savings

Meaning of Interest

Overview and more information about Interest

For a more comprehensive understanding of Interest, see in the general part of the online platform.[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]


Translation of Interest

Thesaurus of Interest

Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit policy > Cost of borrowing > Interest
Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit > Borrowing > Interest
Finance > Financial institutions and credit > Credit > Loan > Interest
Economics > National accounts > Income > Savings > Interest

See also


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