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interest (n.)

15世纪中叶, “法律上的要求或权利; 关注; 利益, 优势, 被关注或受影响(有利地)”, 来自古法语 interest “损害, 损失, 伤害” (现代法语 inté rê t), 来自拉丁语 interest “it is of importance, it makes a difference” 的名词用法, 第三人称单数现时 interresse “to concern, make a difference, be of importance”, 字面意思是“介于”, 来自 inter “介于” (见 inter-) + esse “to be” (来自PIE词根 *es- “to be” ). 法语和英语中的意义发展到“利润, 优势” 并不完全清楚.

较早的中英文单词是 interesse (14世纪末), 来自英法 interesse “一个人在法律上有什么关注”, 来自中世纪拉丁文 interesse “赔偿损失”, 拉丁文 interresse 的名词用法(比较德语 Interesse, 来自同一中世纪拉丁文来源).

金融意义上的“为使用借出的钱而支付的钱” (1520年代) 较早地与 usury (根据教会法是非法的) 相区别, 是指“欠债人应得的赔偿”. “个人或自私的考虑” 的意义来自1620年代. 意为“几个人感兴趣的生意”, 来自1670年代. 意思是“好奇心, 觉得某事与自己有关, 欣赏或同情的目光”, 最早见于1771年. Interest group 从1907年开始见于此; interest rate 到1868年.

interest (v.)

“引起兴趣, 引起注意”, 17世纪, 更早的 interesse (1560年代), 来自名词(见 interest (n.) ). 或许也来自于 interess'd, 或受其影响, interesse 的过去分词.

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Definitions of interest from WordNet
1
interest (n.)
a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something;
an interest in music
Synonyms: involvement
interest (n.)
a reason for wanting something done;
in the common interest
in the interest of safety
Synonyms: sake
interest (n.)
the power of attracting or holding one's attention (because it is unusual or exciting etc.);
primary colors can add interest to a room
they said nothing of great interest
Synonyms: interestingness
interest (n.)
a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of the amount borrowed;
how much interest do you pay on your mortgage?
interest (n.)
(law) a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement with something;
they have interests all over the world
Synonyms: stake
interest (n.)
(usually plural) a social group whose members control some field of activity and who have common aims;
the iron interests stepped up production
Synonyms: interest group
interest (n.)
a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly);
he counts reading among his interests
Synonyms: pastime / pursuit
2
interest (v.)
excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of;
interest (v.)
be on the mind of;
Synonyms: concern / occupy / worry
interest (v.)
be of importance or consequence;
Synonyms: matter to
From wordnet.princeton.edu