Other forms: interesting; interests; interested

Interest is used most often to describe something you like, enjoy or think useful. You might have an interest in African literature, or you might follow the news with interest.

Although interest is used mainly to describe anything that is, well, interesting, it also is used in specific legal contexts. If you have an interest in a company, it means you own part of it. Interest is also the word used to describe money charged or given as part of a debt. If a bank loans you $10,000, you have to pay back the $10,000 plus the interest. If the interest rate is 5 percent annually, you would owe $500.

Definitions of interest
  1. noun
    a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something
    “an interest in music”
    synonyms: involvement
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    a lively interest
    something that interests you because it is important or affects you
    an excessive enthusiasm for all things English
    extraordinary enthusiasm for ballets
    earth, earthly concern, world, worldly concern
    the concerns of this life as distinguished from heaven and the afterlife
    affair, matter, thing
    a matter or concern
    affairs, personal business, personal matters
    matters of personal concern
    that which concerns a person with regard to a particular role or situation
    point of honor
    a concern that seriously reflects on your honor
    type of:
    curiosity, wonder
    a state in which you want to learn more about something
  2. noun
    the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.)
    “they said nothing of great interest
    “primary colors can add interest to a room”
    synonyms: interestingness
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    inability to capture or hold one's interest
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    charisma, personal appeal, personal magnetism
    a personal attractiveness or interestingness that enables you to influence others
    news, newsworthiness
    the quality of being sufficiently interesting to be reported in news bulletins
    the attribute of being of interest at the present time
    color, colour, vividness
    interest and variety and intensity
    the quality of being sharp or harsh to the senses
    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
  3. noun
    a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
    “he counts reading among his interests
    synonyms: pastime, pursuit
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    avocation, by-line, hobby, pursuit, sideline, spare-time activity
    an auxiliary activity
    spelaeology, speleology
    the pastime of exploring caves
    type of:
    diversion, recreation
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
  4. noun
    a reason for wanting something done
    “in the interest of safety”
    “in the common interest
    synonyms: sake
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    for someone's benefit (usually expressed as `in behalf' rather than `on behalf' and usually with a possessive)
    type of:
    benefit, welfare
    something that aids or promotes well-being
  5. verb
    excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
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    bore, tire
    cause to be bored
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    absorb, engage, engross, occupy
    consume all of one's attention or time
    fascinate, grip, spellbind, transfix
    render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    occupy or engage the interest of
    engage fully
    hold (someone's attention)
    type of:
    arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, pique, provoke, raise
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
  6. verb
    be on the mind of
    synonyms: concern, occupy, worry
  7. verb
    be of importance or consequence to
    synonyms: matter to
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    fascinate, intrigue
    cause to be interested or curious
    grab, seize
    capture the attention or imagination of
    type of:
    bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch, touch on
    be relevant to
  8. noun
    a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of the amount borrowed
    “how much interest do you pay on your mortgage?”
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    compound interest
    interest calculated on both the principal and the accrued interest
    simple interest
    interest paid on the principal alone
    type of:
    fixed charge, fixed cost, fixed costs
    a periodic charge that does not vary with business volume (as insurance or rent or mortgage payments etc.)
  9. noun
    (law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something
    “they have interests all over the world”
    synonyms: stake
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    funds advanced to a prospector or to someone starting a business in return for a share of the profits
    controlling interest
    ownership of more than 50% of a corporation's voting shares
    insurable interest
    an interest in a person or thing that will support the issuance of an insurance policy; an interest in the survival of the insured or in the preservation of the thing that is insured
    vested interest
    (law) an interest in which there is a fixed right to present or future enjoyment and that can be conveyed to another
    security interest
    any interest in a property that secures the payment of an obligation
    terminable interest
    an interest in property that terminates under specific conditions
    undivided interest, undivided right
    the interest in property owned by tenants whereby each tenant has an equal right to enjoy the entire property
    an interest in land capable of being inherited
    the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation
    (law) an interest in an estate that reverts to the grantor (or his heirs) at the end of some period (e.g., the death of the grantee)
    (frequently plural) the interest possessed by law or custom in some intangible thing
    fee simple
    a fee without limitation to any class of heirs; they can sell it or give it away
    fee tail
    a fee limited to a particular line of heirs; they are not free to sell it or give it away
    sweat equity
    interest in a building that a tenant earns by contributing to its renovation or maintenance
    a reversion to the state (as the ultimate owner of property) in the absence of legal heirs
    a deposit of personal property as security for a debt
    a conditional conveyance of property as security for the repayment of a loan
    conditional sale
    a security interest taken by the seller in return for credit
    a security pledged for the repayment of a loan
    the right to take another's property if an obligation is not discharged
    type of:
    part, percentage, portion, share
    assets belonging to or due to or contributed by an individual person or group
  10. noun
    (usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims
    “the iron interests stepped up production”
    synonyms: interest group
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    special interest
    an individual or group who are concerned with some particular part of the economy and who try to influence legislators or bureaucrats to act in their favor
    vested interest
    groups that seek to control a social system or activity from which they derive private benefit
    military-industrial complex
    a country's military establishment and the industries that produce arms and other military equipment
    type of:
    social group
    people sharing some social relation




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘interest'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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