borrow

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beg, borrow, or steal

To acquire or accomplish something by any means necessary or available. I don't care if you have to beg, borrow, or steal to get it, I want that car and I want it now! I'm in such a jam, I can't even beg, borrow, or steal the money I need to pay my rent this month.
See also: steal

borrowed time

An uncertain length of time that may end soon or suddenly, bringing any activity, situation, or fortunes associated with it to an end as well. Usually refers to the final period of one's life, in the form "living on borrowed time." In the scope of the planet's history, human existence is a tiny blip and unlikely to last forever—just borrowed time, really. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all living on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, time

exist on borrowed time

To live or exist in a temporary and/or tenuous position, which may come to an end suddenly and abruptly. The small aboriginal population has been existing on borrowed time since the invaders began colonizing their land. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all existing on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, exist, on, time

borrow from (someone or something)

1. Literally, to use something that belongs to another person, with the intent to return it later. A noun can be used between "borrow" and "from." Because I found a date to the dance at the last minute, I just borrowed a dress and shoes from my sister. I ran out of art supplies so I had to start borrowing from Steve.
2. Of a work of some kind, to use elements from something else. That movie may be a comedy, but its plot borrows from crime films of the 1940s.
See also: borrow

borrow trouble

To do something that is unnecessary and likely to cause problems later. That kid isn't bullying you, so if you tattle on him to the teacher, you're definitely borrowing trouble.
See also: borrow, trouble

on borrowed time

In a temporary and/or tenuous position, which will likely come to an end suddenly and abruptly. The company has been on borrowed time ever since those risky investments in 2007 went sour. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all existing on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, on, time

live on borrowed time

To live or exist in a temporary and/or tenuous position, which may come to an end suddenly and abruptly. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all living on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, live, on, time

be living on borrowed time

To be living or existing in a temporary and/or tenuous position, which may come to an end suddenly and abruptly. Accidents and disease can strike so unexpectedly that it feels like we're all living on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, living, on, time

borrowed plumes

A showy display that is not truly one's own. Oh, I know you lied to me earlier, so quit adorning yourself with borrowed plumes and tell me what you really contributed to this event.
See also: borrow, plume

borrow something

Euph. to steal something. The bank robber borrowed a car to drive out of state. I discovered that my office mate had been borrowing money out of my wallet when I wasn't looking.

borrow something from someone

to request and receive the use of something from someone. Can I borrow a hammer from you? Sorry, this hammer was borrowed from my father.
See also: borrow

borrow trouble

Fig. to worry needlessly; to make trouble for oneself. Worrying too much about death is just borrowing trouble. Do not get involved with politics. That's borrowing trouble.
See also: borrow, trouble

live on borrowed time

Fig. to exist only because of good fortune; to live on when death was expected. The doctors told him he was living on borrowed time. You are living on borrowed time, so make the best of it.
See also: borrow, live, on, time

beg, borrow, or steal

Obtain by any possible means, as in You couldn't beg, borrow, or steal tickets to the Olympics. This term is often used in the negative, to describe something that cannot be obtained; Chaucer used it in The Tale of the Man of Law. [Late 1300s]
See also: steal

borrow trouble

Go out of one's way to do something that may be harmful, as in Just sign the will-telling her about it ahead of time is borrowing trouble. [Mid-1800s] Also see ask for, def. 2.
See also: borrow, trouble

on borrowed time, live

Outlive reasonable expectations, as in Our twenty-year-old car is living on borrowed time, or The vet said our dog is living on borrowed time. This expression alludes to time borrowed from death. [Late 1800s]
See also: borrow, live, on

be living on borrowed time

or

be on borrowed time

COMMON If someone or something is living on borrowed time or is on borrowed time, they are not expected to survive for much longer. The organization is living on borrowed time. Its state funding runs out in June of this year, and beyond that, the future is in doubt. From this moment onwards, this government is on borrowed time.
See also: borrow, living, on, time

borrow trouble

take needless action that may have bad effects. North American
See also: borrow, trouble

living on borrowed time

continuing to survive against expectations (used with the implication that this will not be for much longer).
See also: borrow, living, on, time

borrowed plumes

a pretentious display not rightly your own.
This phrase refers to the fable of the jay which dressed itself in the peacock's feathers.
See also: borrow, plume

ˌbeg, ˌborrow or ˈsteal

(also ˌbeg, ˌsteal or ˈborrow) obtain something any way you can: We’ll have to beg, steal or borrow enough money to pay the fines.
See also: borrow, steal

be/live on borrowed ˈtime


1 (of a person who is seriously ill) live longer than the doctors expected: The doctors say he’s living on borrowed time.
2 be doing something that other people are likely to soon stop you from doing: The government is on borrowed time (= they are not likely to be in power for long).
See also: borrow, live, on, time

borrow trouble

To take an unnecessary action that will probably engender adverse effects.
See also: borrow, trouble
References in periodicals archive ?
15,000 crore would be reduced from the notified borrowing programme of ensuing weeks," the ministry said.
The borrowing should - as a house purchaser and their bank /building society would discuss in the case of a mortgage - consider what will happen if too high a proportion of revenue account expenditure is allocated to interest and capital repayments to the detriment of other current expenditure, Public authorities have in the past borrowed to fund capital and revenue expenditure (often for political popularity reasons) and found that within a few years have little current expenditure flexibility resulting from the proportion of the revenue account expenditure used to fund interest and repayment.
The previous government remained under fire because of heavy borrowings from the banking system that widened the fiscal deficit to more than eight per cent in FY13.
Non-purpose borrowing against your investment portfolio has a number of benefits that are not available with traditional margin borrowing.
Borrowing products and services are likely to see the most innovation over the next year or two, closing the gap between high-expense years lot health care and leveragable assets in other accounts.
A report for IFA Promotion, the organisation that promotes the benefits of independent financial advice, found that savings are greater than borrowing, by the greatest ratio since 2001.
Party political adviser Bob Mulholland said the Democrats want to see what the state Republican Party does at its convention next month before deciding whether to support the borrowing plan.
Borrowing to pay for education is a sound decision for most students, and student loans are a vital part of college financing policy.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-13 September 2002-Sweden changes to direct foreign borrowing (C)1994-2002 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
As these companies' earnings have suffered, they have turned to the inherent value of their assets -- accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets -- to deliver the operational flexibility and borrowing power their cash flows can no longer command.
If your client is contemplating borrowing from a qualified plan, consider the following.
If [parks] borrowed money on the open market and tied payback to money earned at the facilities, [establishing a borrowing authority] is a decent idea," he says.
245] notes that "the FOMC's desired policy stance continues to be formally calibrated by borrowed reserves, and the Desk still uses a borrowing assumption to construct its reserve path.
Both issuing coins and issuing currency notes lower the government's effective cost of borrowing from the public, by approximately the value of the coin or currency notes in circulation times the interest rate that the government pays on its debt.