leihen

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German līhen, from Old High German līhan, from Proto-West Germanic *līhwan.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

leihen (class 1 strong, third-person singular present leiht, past tense lieh, past participle geliehen, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to borrow
    Synonyms: ausleihen, borgen
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 25/2010, page 80:
      Ein Verbot sollte es nach Ansicht vieler Ökonomen auch für die sogenannten Leerverkäufe geben. Banken verkaufen dabei Aktien oder Währungen, die sie noch gar nicht besitzen oder allenfalls geliehen haben.
      In the opinion of many economists there should also exist a prohibition for the so-called short sales. In these banks sell shares or currencies that they do not own at all yet or have borrowed at best.
  2. (transitive) to lend, loan
    Synonyms: verleihen, ausleihen, borgen

Usage notes[edit]

  • The German synonyms leihen, ausleihen, borgen are all used for “to borrow” as well as “to lend”. When both the giver and taker are named, there is obviously no room for ambiguity:
Ich habe ihm das Buch geliehen.I've lent him the book.
Ich habe (mir) das Buch von/bei ihm geliehen.I've borrowed the book from him.
  • When the above is not the case, the three mentioned verbs are generally all interpreted as “to borrow”, while verleihen is used for “to lend”:
Ich habe das Buch geliehen.I've borrowed the book.
Ich habe das Buch verliehen.I've lent the book (out).

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • leihen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • leihen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • leihen” in Duden online
  • leihen” in OpenThesaurus.de