- A loan for the purchase of real property, secured by a lien on the property.
- The document specifying the terms and conditions of the repayment of such a loan.
- The repayment obligation associated with such a loan: a family who cannot afford their mortgage.
- The right to payment associated with such a loan: a bank that buys mortgages from originators.
- The lien on the property associated with such a loan.
transitive verbmort·gaged, mort·gag·ing, mort·gag·es
- To pledge (real property) as the security for a loan.
- To make subject to a claim or risk; pledge against a doubtful outcome: mortgaged their political careers by taking an unpopular stand.
Origin of mortgage
Middle English morgage from
Old French mort dead
Vulgar Latin mortus
) ( from
) ( past participle of morī to die
; see mer-
in Indo-European roots.) gage pledge
( of Germanic origin
In early Anglo-Norman law, property pledged as security for a loan was normally held by the creditor until the debt was repaid. Under this arrangement, the profits or benefits that accrued to the holder of the property could either be applied to the discharge of the principal or taken by the creditor as a form of interest. In his Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae
(1189), Ranulf de Glanville explains that this latter type of pledge, in which the fruits of the property were taken by the creditor without reduction in the debt, was known by the term mort gage,
which in Old French means “dead pledge.” Because of Christian prohibitions on profiting from money lending, however, the mortgage was considered a species of usury. The preferred type of pledge, in which the property's profits went to paying off the debt and thus continued to benefit the borrower, was known in Old French by the term vif gage,
“living pledge.” By the time of the great English jurist Thomas Littleton's Treatise on Tenures
(1481), however, the mortgage had evolved into its modern form—a conditional pledge in which the property (and its profits) remain in possession of the debtor during the loan's repayment. This led Littleton and his followers, such as the influential jurist Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), to explain the mort
in terms of the permanent loss of the property in the event the borrower fails to repay, rather than of the loss of the profits from the property over the duration of the loan.
- (law) A special form of secured loan where the purpose of the loan must be specified to the lender, to purchase assets that must be fixed (not movable) property such as a house or piece of farm land. The assets are registered as the legal property of the borrower but the lender can seize them and dispose of them if they are not satisfied with the manner in which the repayment of the loan is conducted by the borrower. Once the loan is fully repaid, the lender loses this right of seizure and the assets are then deemed to be unencumbered.
- We're renting a property in the city centre because we can't afford to get a mortgage yet.
(third-person singular simple present mortgages, present participle mortgaging, simple past and past participle mortgaged)
- (law) To borrow against a property, to obtain a loan for another purpose by giving away the right of seizure to the lender over a fixed property such as a house or piece of land; to pledge a property in order to get a loan.
- to mortgage a property, an estate, a shop
- We mortgaged our house in order to start a company.
- (figuratively) To pledge and make liable; to make subject to obligation; to achieve an immediate result by paying for it in the long term.
From Anglo-Norman mortgage, Middle French mortgage, from Old French mort gage (“death pledge"), after a translation of judicial Medieval Latin mortuum vadium or mortuum wadium, from mortuum + vadium or wadium, of Germanic (Frankish) origin, from a root *waddi, wadja. Cf. gage and also wage.