Definition of collateral in English:


Line breaks: col|lat¦eral
Pronunciation: /kəˈlat(ə)r(ə)l


  • 1 [mass noun] Something pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default: she put her house up as collateral for the bank loan
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    • Because most of its hard assets, such as airplanes, already are pledged as loan collateral, the company has said that it will not seek additional investors at this time.
    • CMAs are also required to maintain inventories of each class and grade of grain at least equal to the quantity pledged as loan collateral.
    • By the stroke of a government pen and without having invested one single cent, the Larrakia now have a major asset to use as collateral for a bank loan.
    security, surety, guarantee, guaranty, pledge, bond, assurance, insurance, indemnity, indemnification, pawn, backing; bail, hostage
    archaic gage, earnest
  • 2A person having the same ancestor as another but through a different line.
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    • A few days later, two powerful Sandhanvalia Sardars, Atar Singh and Ajit Singh, collaterals of the royal contenders for the throne, arrived in Lahore and took over control.
    • That left the old lady as the sole survivor of the family, the collaterals being very distant.


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  • 1Additional but subordinate; secondary: the collateral meanings of a word
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    • Why do you distinguish between what I might call questions going to the primary purpose of the Commission and these ones that go to what you would regard as a sort of collateral or secondary purpose?
    • Then comes an assessment of collateral effects and unintended consequences.
    • To ensure the proper result with little or no unintended collateral effects, we need greater precision with speed.
  • 1.1 euphemistic Denoting inadvertent casualties and destruction in civilian areas in the course of military operations: munitions must be able to destroy the target without causing collateral damage collateral casualties
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    • The quick responsive action of MSgt Henley prevented what could have easily been a major fire with possible significant collateral damage.
    • In such circumstances, the attacking elements will be required to expose themselves to enemy direct fire to engage them without undue collateral damage.
    • There are, however, limits on such incidental or collateral damage.
  • 2Descended from the same stock but by a different line: a collateral descendant of Robert Burns
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    • Support is legally prescribed and required along descent, ascent, and collateral lines.
    • As for that of Herve de Lanrivain, I had only to apply to his collateral descendant for its subsequent details.
    • A major consequence of this was the drastic reduction of the casato's collateral lines (and, in the long run, the demographic decline of the aristocracy).
  • 3Situated side by side; parallel: collateral veins
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    • The use of contrast enhanced CT is much more specific and can demonstrate collateral veins.
    • The dorsal artery of the index finger may similarly, though more rarely, supply one or both of the collateral arteries of the adjacent sides of the thumb and index finger.
    • The MCL (medial collateral ligament) controls the knee's movement from side to side.



Pronunciation: /-ˈralɪti/
More example sentences
  • If the radial artery is to be used, the collaterality of blood flow to the hand must be checked by the Allen's test.
  • These criteria include generation, sex, affinity, collaterality, bifurcation, relative age, and sex of linking relative.
  • One should not marry bilateral kin up to the second degree of collaterality; spouses beyond the fourth degree of collaterality are preferred.


More example sentences
  • Setting aside the procedural question whether the court's order could be challenged collaterally in a contempt hearing - as opposed to on appeal - it seems to me that the order is unconstitutionally broad and viewpoint-based.
  • It is hard to be more European than the Dutch: a small country, collaterally invaded in 1940 during the German attack on France, with a location that makes them a great transport hub.
  • In other words, Herbert holds that relativism-and hence, collaterally, relativity-is the best and perhaps the only check against intolerance and violence toward those whose beliefs differ from one's own.


late Middle English (as an adjective): from medieval Latin collateralis, from col- 'together with' + lateralis (from latus, later- 'side'). sense 1 of the noun (originally US) is from the phrase collateral security, denoting something pledged in addition to the main obligation of a contract.

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