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See also: collatéral



Recorded since c.1378, from Old French, from Medieval Latin collaterālis, from Latin col- (together with) (a form of con-) + the stem of latus (side); surface analysis, col- +‎ lateral.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈlætəɹəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætəɹəl


collateral (not comparable)

  1. Parallel, along the same vein, side by side.
  2. Corresponding; accompanying, concomitant.
  3. Being aside from the main subject, target, or goal.
    Synonyms: tangential, subordinate, ancillary
    collateral damage
    Although not a direct cause, the border skirmish was certainly a collateral incitement for the war.
    • 1878, Thomas Babington Macaulay, “Francis Atterbury”, in Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition[1]:
      That he [Atterbury] was altogether in the wrong on the main question, and on all the collateral questions springing out of it, [] is true.
  4. (genealogy) Of an indirect ancestral relationship, as opposed to lineal descendency.
    Uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces are collateral relatives.
    • 1885, Richard Francis Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, volume 5:
      The pure blood all descends from five collateral lines called Al-Khamsah (the Cinque).
  5. (finance) Relating to a collateral in the sense of an obligation or security.
  6. (finance) Expensive to the extent of being paid through a loan.
  7. Coming or directed along the side.
    collateral pressure
  8. Acting in an indirect way.
  9. (biology, of a vascular bundle) Having the phloem and xylem adjacent.

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collateral (countable and uncountable, plural collaterals)

  1. (finance) A security or guarantee (usually an asset) pledged for the repayment of a loan if one cannot procure enough funds to repay.
    Synonym: pledge
    • 2016, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “Euro 'house of cards' to collapse, warns ECB prophet”, in The Telegraph[2]:
      "The decline in the quality of eligible collateral is a grave problem. The ECB is now buying corporate bonds that are close to junk, and the haircuts can barely deal with a one-notch credit downgrade. The reputational risk of such actions by a central bank would have been unthinkable in the past."
    • 2019 August 14, Matthew Desmond, “In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation”, in New York Times[3]:
      In colonial times, when land was not worth much and banks didn’t exist, most lending was based on human property. In the early 1700s, slaves were the dominant collateral in South Carolina.
  2. (now rare, genealogy) A collateral (not linear) family member.
  3. (anatomy) A branch of a bodily part or system of organs.
    Besides the arteries blood streams through numerous veins we call collaterals.
  4. (marketing) Printed materials or content of electronic media used to enhance sales of products (short form of collateral material).
  5. (anatomy) A thinner blood vessel providing an alternate route to blood flow in case the main vessel becomes occluded.
  6. (archaic) A contemporary or rival.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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