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to liquidate or extinguish (a mortgage, debt, or other obligation), especially by periodic payments to the creditor or to a sinking fund.
to write off a cost of (an asset) gradually.

Old English Law. to convey to a corporation or church group; alienate in mortmain.
Historical Examples

The fare just about amortized my travel allowance for the entire week.
The Capgras Shift Sam Vaknin

What we pay you will have to be amortized over a period of years.
Damned If You Don’t Gordon Randall Garrett

verb (transitive)
(finance) to liquidate (a debt, mortgage, etc) by instalment payments or by periodic transfers to a sinking fund
to write off (a wasting asset) by annual transfers to a sinking fund
(property law) (formerly) to transfer (lands, etc) in mortmain

late 14c., from Old French amortiss-, present participle stem of amortir “deaden,” from Vulgar Latin *admortire “to extinguish,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + mortus “dead,” from Latin mors “death” (see mortal (adj.)). Originally a legal term for an act of alienating lands. Meaning “extinguish a debt” (in form amortization) is attested from 1824. Related: Amortized; amortizing.


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