Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin hypothecatus, past participle of hypotheco, hypothecare. This was in turn derived from Ancient Greek ὑποθήκη (hupothḗkē, pledge), from the verb ὑποτίθημι (hupotíthēmi, to pledge as surety).



hypothecate (third-person singular simple present hypothecates, present participle hypothecating, simple past and past participle hypothecated)

  1. (transitive) To pledge (something) as surety for a loan; to pawn, mortgage.
    • 1943, Raymond Chandler, The High Window, Penguin, published 2005, page 12:
      ‘My husband, Jasper Murdock, provided in his will that no part of his collection might be sold, loaned or hypothecated during my lifetime.’
  2. (politics, Britain) To designate a new tax or tax increase for a specific expenditure.
    • 2022 November 30, Peter Plisner, “Can land value capture set projects free?”, in RAIL, number 971, page 51:
      The levy needed primary legislation and permission from the Treasury to hypothecate the proceeds back into the new line. It meant that the Greater London Authority could borrow against future income from the levy.
  3. (Australia) To designate in advance the specific purpose of expenditure for government revenues (especially taxes).

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sometimes wrongly used in place of the word hypothesize.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]