American English

Definition of interest noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈɪntrɛst//
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    wanting to know more
  1. 1[singular, uncountable] interest (in somebody/something) the feeling that you have when you want to know or learn more about someone or something to feel/have/show/express(an)interest in something Do your parents take an interest in your friends? By that time I had lost (all) interest in the idea. I watched with interest. As a matter of interest, (= I'd like to know) what time did the party finish? Just out of interest, how much did it cost? compare disinterest
  2. attraction
  3. 2[uncountable] the quality that something has when it attracts someone's attention or makes them want to know more about it There are many places of interest near the city. The subject is of no interest to me at all. These plants will add interest to your garden in winter. These documents are of great historical interest. be of cultural/scientific interest This museum holds particular interest for geologists. see also human interest, love interest
  4. hobby
  5. 3[countable] an activity or a subject that you enjoy and that you spend your free time doing or studying Her main interests are music and tennis. He was a man of wide interests outside his work. compare hobby
  6. money
  7. 4[uncountable] interest (on something) (finance) the extra money that you pay back when you borrow money or that you receive when you invest money to pay interest on a loan The money was repaid with interest. interest charges/payments Interest rates have risen by 1%. high rates of interest see also compound interest, simple interest
  8. advantage
  9. 5[countable, usually plural, uncountable] a good result or an advantage for someone or something to promote/protect/safeguard someone's interests She was acting entirely in her own interests. These reforms were in the best interests of local government. It is in the public interest that these facts are made known. see also self-interest
  10. share in business
  11. 6[countable, usually plural] interest (in something) a share in a business or company and its profits She has business interests in France. American interests in Europe (= money invested in European countries) see also controlling interest
  12. connection
  13. 7[countable, uncountable] interest (in something) a connection with something that affects your attitude to it, especially because you may benefit from it in some way I should, at this point,declare my interest. Organizations have an interest in ensuring that employee motivation is high. compare disinterest, vested interest
  14. group of people
  15. 8[countable, usually plural] a group of people who are in the same business or who share the same aims, which they want to protect powerful farming interests relationships between local government and business interests
  16. Thesaurusinteresthobby pastimeThese are all words for activities that you do for pleasure in your spare time.interest an activity or a subject that you do or study for pleasure in your spare time:Her main interests are music and gardening.hobby an activity that you do for pleasure in your spare time:His hobbies include swimming and cooking.pastime an activity that people do for pleasure in their spare time:Eating out is the national pastime in France.interest, hobby, or pastime?A hobby is often more active than an interest:His main hobby is football (= he plays football). His main interest is football (= he watches and reads about football, and may or may not play it).Pastime is used when talking about people in general; when you are talking about yourself or an individual person it is more usual to use interest or hobby:Eating out is the national interest/hobby in France. Do you have any pastimes?Idioms
    conflict of interest(s)
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    a situation in which there are two jobs, aims, roles, etc., and it is not possible for both of them to be treated equally and fairly at the same time There was a conflict of interest between his business dealings and his political activities.
    have somebody's interests at heart
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    to want someone to be happy and successful even though your actions may not show this
    in the interest(s) of something
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    in order to help or achieve something In the interest(s) of safety, smoking is forbidden.
    pay somebody (back) with interest
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    to do the same thing to someone as they have done to you, but with more force, enthusiasm, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: interest