usu·ry /ˈjuʒəri, ˈjuʒri/
1. A premium or increase paid, or stipulated to be paid, for a loan, as of money; interest. [Obs. or Archaic]
Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of anything that is lent upon usury. --Deut. xxiii. 19.
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchanges, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. --Matt. xxv. 27.
What he borrows from the ancients, he repays with usury of ░░is own. --Dryden.
2. The practice of taking interest. [Obs.]
Usury . . . bringeth the treasure of a realm or state into a few ░░nds. --Bacon.
3. Law Interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money.
Note: ☞ The practice of requiring in repayment of money lent anything more than the amount lent, was formerly thought to be a great moral wrong, and the greater, the more was taken. Now it is not deemed more wrong to take pay for the use of money than for the use of a house, or a horse, or any other property. But the lingering influence of the former opinion, together with the fact that the nature of money makes it easier for the lender to oppress the borrower, has caused nearly all Christian nations to fix by law the rate of compensation for the use of money. Of late years, however, the opinion that money should be borrowed and repaid, or bought and sold, upon whatever terms the parties should agree to, like any other property, has gained ground everywhere.
n 1: an exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest [syn: vigorish]
2: the act of lending money at an exorbitant rate of interest
the sum paid for the use of money, hence interest; not, as in
the modern sense, exorbitant interest. The Jews were forbidden
to exact usury (Lev. 25:36, 37), only, however, in their
dealings with each other (Deut. 23:19, 20). The violation of
this law was viewed as a great crime (Ps. 15:5; Prov. 28:8; Jer.
15:10). After the Return, and later, this law was much neglected
(Neh. 5:7, 10).