Definition: Finance

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English finaunce, from Anglo-Norman, Middle French finance, from finer (to pay ransom) (whence also English fine (to pay a penalty)), from fin (end), from Latin fīnis.

Original English sense c. 1400 was “ending.” Sense of “ending/satisfying a debt” came from French influence: in sense of “ransom” mid fifteenth century, in sense of “taxation” late fifteenth century. In sense of “manage money” first recorded 1770.


finance (countable and uncountable, plural finances)

  1. The management of money and other assets.
  2. The science of management of money and other assets.
  3. Monetary resources, especially those of a public entity or a company.
  4. The provision of a loan, payment installment terms, or similar arrangement, to enable a customer to purchase an item without paying the full amount straight away.

Derived terms

  • climate finance
  • decentralized finance
  • financial (adjective)
  • financially (adverb)

Related terms

  • financier


finance (third-person singular simple present finances, present participle financing, simple past and past participle financed)

  1. (intransitive) To conduct, or procure money for, financial operations; manage finances.
  2. (transitive) To manage financially; be financier for; provide or obtain funding for a transaction or undertaking.
    His parents financed his college education.

Derived terms

  • refinance
  • underfinance


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