In"ter*est, n. [OF. interest, F.
intérêt, fr. L. interest it interests, is
of interest, fr. interesse to be between, to be difference, to
be importance; inter between + esse to be; cf. LL.
interesse usury. See Essence.]
1. Excitement of feeling, whether pleasant or
painful, accompanying special attention to some object;
☞ Interest expresses mental excitement of various
kinds and degrees. It may be intellectual, or sympathetic and
emotional, or merely personal; as, an interest in
philosophical research; an interest in human suffering; the
interest which an avaricious man takes in money getting.
So much interest have I in thy
2. Participation in advantage, profit, and
responsibility; share; portion; part; as, an interest in a
brewery; he has parted with his interest in the
3. Advantage, personal or general; good,
regarded as a selfish benefit; profit; benefit.
Divisions hinder the common interest and public
good. Sir W. Temple.
When interest calls of all her sneaking
4. Premium paid for the use of money, --
usually reckoned as a percentage; as, interest at five per
cent per annum on ten thousand dollars.
They have told their money, and let out Shak.
Their coin upon large interest.
5. Any excess of advantage over and above an
exact equivalent for what is given or rendered.
You shall have your desires with
6. The persons interested in any particular
business or measure, taken collectively; as, the iron
interest; the cotton interest.
Compound interest, interest, not only on the
original principal, but also on unpaid interest from the time it fell
due. -- Simple interest, interest on the
principal sum without interest on overdue interest.
In"ter*est (?), v. t. [imp. &
p. p. Interested (?); p. pr. & vb.
n. Interesting.] [From interess'd, p. p. of
the older form interess, fr. F. intéresser, L.
interesse. See Interest, n.]
1. To engage the attention of; to awaken
interest in; to excite emotion or passion in, in behalf of a person
or thing; as, the subject did not interest him; to
interest one in charitable work.
To love our native country . . . to be
interested in its concerns is natural to all men.
A goddess who used to interest herself in
2. To be concerned with or engaged in; to
affect; to concern; to excite; -- often used impersonally.
Or rather, gracious sir, Ford.
Create me to this glory, since my cause
Doth interest this fair quarrel.
3. To cause or permit to share.
The mystical communion of all faithful men is such as
maketh every one to be interested in those precious blessings
which any one of them receiveth at God's hands.
Syn. -- To concern; excite; attract; entertain; engage;