Definition of lend in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /lɛnd/

verb (past and past participle lent /lɛnt/)

[with two objects]
1Grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it will be returned: Stewart asked me to lend him my car the pictures were lent to each museum in turn
More example sentences
  • She took off the jacket Jay lent her and returned it to him.
  • We give them what they want and in return they lend us what we want.
  • When Virginia goes to England, she lends me her car: a Peugeot convertible with English plates.
loan, give someone the loan of, let someone use, let someone have the use of;
British informal sub
1.1Allow (a person or organization) the use of (a sum of money) under an agreement to pay it back later, typically with interest: no one would lend him the money [no object]: banks lend only to their current account customers (as noun lending) balance sheets weakened by unwise lending
More example sentences
  • So why are banks falling all over themselves to lend small businesses money?
  • When a bank lends you money, the loan comes with strings attached - namely, the covenants contained in the loan agreement.
  • They're lending the American government money in exchange for interest.
2Contribute or add (a quality) to: the smile lent his face a boyish charm
More example sentences
  • The concentration of structures in space lends an urban quality even to small villages.
  • To lend weight to this, he adds the interpretation of a social scientist and an academician.
  • This lends weight to the theory that autism is a neurodevelopmental condition and not an acquired one.
add, impart, give, bestow, confer, provide, grant, supply, furnish, accord, offer, contribute, afford, bring, donate
3 (lend oneself to) Accommodate or adapt oneself to: John stiffly lent himself to her aromatic embraces
More example sentences
  • There are some who will observe the period, but it is not something that we lend ourselves to.
  • He lent himself to an illusion, he lent himself to misleading the African people.
  • The actor has been lending himself to book launches recently, starting with Vikram Seth's Two Lives way back in October.
3.1 (lend itself to) (Of a thing) be suitable for: bay windows lend themselves to blinds
More example sentences
  • The plastic blocks are lighter, lending themselves to more applications, and easier to install.
  • I've got the first one, and the stories really lend themselves to the comic format.
  • On the other hand my books don't lend themselves to movies and they tend to violate basic laws of fiction writing.
be suitable for, be suited to, be appropriate for, be adaptable to, have the right characteristics for, be applicable for, be easily used for, be readily used for, be serviceable for


1 Reciprocal pairs of words such as lend and borrow (or teach and learn) are often confused. Common uses in informal speech in a number of British dialects include can I lend your pen? (correct standard use is can I borrow your pen?).2 There is no noun lend in standard English, where loan is the correct word to use. However, it is used informally in a number of dialects and varieties, including Scottish, Northern Irish, and northern English, as in, for example, can I have a lend of your pen?.



lend an ear (or one's ears)

Listen sympathetically or attentively: the Samaritans lend their ears to those in crisis
More example sentences
  • Let her know that you don't necessarily expect her to fix everything for you - you just want her to lend an ear.
  • The others in the group generally lend their ears, some slurping steaming hot tea from squat hexagonal glasses.
  • But for some semblance of camaraderie, lend an ear to their tales of woe.
listen, keep one's ears open, prick up one's ears;
pay attention, take notice, be attentive, attend, concentrate, heed, pay heed, give ear, give one's undivided attention
informal be all ears, pin back one's ears
archaic hearken

lend a hand (or a helping hand)


lend one's name to

Allow oneself to be publicly associated with: he lent his name and prestige to the project
More example sentences
  • While I may not want a war in my name, there are quite a few other causes I don't want to lend my name to either.
  • So convinced is Sadie Frost of Joshi's philosophy that she has lent her name to his Feel Great range.
  • I'm surprised you're lending your name to such a cruel suppression of dissent, Stephen.



Example sentences
  • The CRR was reduced from 5.5 per cent to 5.0 per cent in June 2002 and further to 4.75 per cent in November 2002 augmenting the lendable resources of banks by about Rs.10,000 crore.
  • Keep in mind that the financial sector - through financial credit creation - is the dominant supplier of lendable funds.


Old English lǣnan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lenen, also to loan1. The addition of the final -d in late Middle English was due to association with verbs such as bend and send.

Words that rhyme with lend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lend

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.