June 03, 2016
- mortgage (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : a transfer of rights to a piece of property (as a house) usually in return for a loan and that is cancelled when the loan is paid2 : the document recording such a transfer
- How do you use it?
- Now that Trevor has won a full scholarship, his parents no longer have to worry about taking out a second mortgage on their house to pay for his college tuition.
- Are you a word wiz?
What do you think the root word of "mortgage" means?"Mortgage" combines the Latin words "mort," which means "dead," and "gage," meaning "something given as a pledge of performance," in this case, the repayment of a loan. The famous sixteenth century English jurist Sir Edward Coke explained the term "mortgage" as coming from the fact that if the debtor does not repay the loan, the land pledged is taken and is "dead to him," but if the debtor does repay, then the pledge is "dead" to the creditor. Another product of "gage" is the verb "engage," which means "to commit oneself to do something," and is often used in the sense of "to bind by a pledge to marry."