Definition of interest noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɪntrəst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪntrəst//
    ; BrE BrE//ˈɪntrest//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪntrest//
    Economy, Showing interest, Banking
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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 somebody/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 See related entries: Showing interest
  2. attraction
  3. 2  [uncountable] the quality that something has when it attracts somebody’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. to 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. Synonymsinteresthobby game 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.game a children’s activity when they play with toys, pretend to be somebody else, etc.; an activity that you do to have fun:a game of cops and robbers He was playing games with the dog.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?Patterns a popular interest/​hobby/​pastime to have/​share interests/​hobbies to take up/​pursue a(n) interest/​hobby 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 Wordfinderaccount, balance, bank, credit, debit, deposit, interest, loan, statement, withdrawal Wordfinderasset, bond, capital, dividend, equity, fund, interest, invest, portfolio, share Wordfindercredit, debt, deposit, interest, lend, loan, money, mortgage, overdraft, risk See related entries: Economy, Banking
  8. advantage
  9. 5[countable, usually plural, uncountable] a good result or an advantage for somebody/something to promote/protect/safeguard somebody’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 which 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 see also 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. Word Originlate Middle English (originally as interess): from Anglo-Norman French interesse, from Latin interesse ‘differ, be important’, from inter- ‘between’ + esse ‘be’. The -t was added partly by association with Old French interest ‘damage, loss’, apparently from Latin interest ‘it is important’. The original sense was ‘the possession of a share in or a right to something’; hence sense (6). Sense (1) and the verb arose in the 18th cent. Sense (4) was influenced by medieval Latin interesse ‘compensation for a debtor's defaulting’.Extra examples A childhood trip to Europe sparked his lifelong interest in history. A sticker on a bag caught my interest. Although he was sometimes too strict with his children, he had their best interests at heart. Angelina Jolie supplies the love interest in the film. Bushes that flower in winter will add interest to your garden. Continuing such a policy is short-sighted and not in the interest of consumers. Despite intensive publicity, Channel 4 failed to maintain interest in its expensive new show. He claimed to be acting in the public interest. He has controlling interests in several ventures. He has many hobbies and outside interests. He showed a polite interest in her story. He wanted time to pursue his many and varied musical interests. He was obviously acting purely out of selfish interest. He’s never shown the slightest interest in football. Her comments are of particular interest to me. His books are of no interest to me at all. I feel it is in everyone’s best interest if I step aside now. I’ll watch the programme with added interest now I know you’re in it. I’m asking purely out of interest. It’s not in your best interests to let your boss know you’re looking for a new job. Lawyers have a direct financial interest in the outcome of the debate. My cousin expressed an interest in seeing where I work. My main research interest is herbal medicine. New work practices were introduced in the interests of efficiency. One member of the planning committee had a conflict of interest as he lived near the proposed road. Protectionism often simply supports narrow vested interests. She always had a great interest in the supernatural. She feigned interest in a magazine article to avoid meeting the man’s stare. She took an active interest in their welfare. Since the championship has already been decided, this game is of purely academic interest. The CD-ROM gives the book added interest. The children’s interest began to flag after half an hour of the lesson. The event attracted a lot of media interest. The film kept my interest throughout. The government failed to drum up any public interest in the referendum. The interest of the painting lies in its unusual use of colour. The lawyer refused to act against his client’s interests. The police were starting to take a close interest in the company’s activities. The union refused to support proposals that it saw as contrary to the interests of its members. The views of special-interest groups are represented. Their conversation held no interest for me. They listened with interest. This information was of no immediate interest to me. Various interest groups have expressed their opposition to the policy. We met to discuss matters of common interest. While in prison he developed an interest in art. Why the sudden interest? You can’t blame them for looking after their own interests. a building of great architectural interest a mortgage with a fixed rate of interest a plot devoid of human interest growing interest from younger members issues of compelling strategic interest narrow sectional interests to stimulate interest among teachers As a matter of interest what time did the party finish? By that time I had lost all interest in the project. Does she take an interest in your research? Find a bank that has very low interest charges on overdrafts. He showed no more than a passing interest in the sport. Her main interests are music and gardening. His books have a special interest for me. I should, at this point, declare my interest. I told him about it but he showed no interest. Interest rates have risen by 1%. Just out of interest, how much did it cost? Several people expressed an interest in learning the game. The Gold Account pays monthly interest of 5.5%. The money was repaid with interest. There are many places of interest around Oxford. These plants will add interest to your garden. They’re paying 16% interest on the loan.Idioms
    conflict of interest(s)
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    a situation in which somebody has two jobs, aims, roles, etc. and cannot treat both of them equally and fairly at the same time There was a conflict of interest between his business dealings and his political activities.
    do something (back) with interest
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    to do the same thing to somebody as they have done to you, but with more force, enthusiasm, etc.
    have somebody’s interests at heart
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    to want somebody 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: interest