borrow

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adorn (oneself) with borrowed plumes

To make a showy display of something that is not truly one's own. I know you lied to me earlier about your involvement in this fair, so quit adorning yourself with borrowed plumes and tell me what you actually contributed.
See also: adorn, borrow, plume

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

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

borrow from (someone or something)

1. Literally, to use something that belongs to another person, with the intent to return it later. A noun or pronoun 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

borrowed plumes

A showy display that is not truly one's own. 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

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

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

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

borrow trouble

To take an unnecessary action that will probably engender adverse effects.
See also: borrow, trouble
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

beg, borrow, or steal

Obtain in any possible way. This saying appears in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (The Tale of the Man of Law, ca. 1386): “Maugre [despite] thyn heed, thou most for indigence or stele, or begge, or borwe [borrow] thy despence [expenditure]!” In slightly different form it appears in a seventeenth-century poem with a cautionary moral that is quoted by Washington Irving (“But to beg or to borrow, or get a man’s own, ’tis the very worst world that ever was known”). Almost the same wording appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (1742).
See also: steal

borrowed time, on

An unexpected extension of time. It often refers to someone terminally ill or in great danger but surviving longer than was anticipated, on time that is in effect borrowed from Death. The term dates from the late 1800s. Raymond Chandler used it in The Big Sleep (1930): “Brody was living on borrowed time.” James Patterson also had it, referring to the 48-hour deadline for a threatened bombing attack: “We were definitely operating on borrowed time” (London Bridges, 2004).
See also: borrow, on
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It is therefore very important for parts of society to have the financial literacy to discern properly not only where to put their savings and investments but also where to borrow or even better, to plan and manage their finances in order to avoid being forced to borrow at onerous rates and terms.
465(b)(3) (added in 1978) prohibited increasing an at-risk amount when funds were borrowed from lenders with disqualifying interests in the activity.
By including the language "other than the taxpayer" a taxpayer is permitted under the Code to borrow from family members or entities in which he or she has an ownership interest and increase his or her at-risk amount, as long as the lender does not have a direct or indirect disqualifying interest in the activity (other than the relationship with the taxpayer).
In chapter 1, "With or Without You: First Nations Law in Canada", Borrows discusses the legitimacy and flexibility of Aboriginal laws, and explores how they might be received into Canadian law.
Borrows' encouragement of the acceptance of Indigenous legal principles in Canadian law continues in chapter 2, "Living Between Water and Rocks: The Environment, First Nations, and Democracy".
In 1982 the Federal Reserve made borrowed reserves its operating instrument, the indirect target through which it achieves its monetary policy target.
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." He also notes a remark by Sternlight [1990, p.
Other states (Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) do not apply any residency requirement to determine whether to borrow another state's statute of limitation.
Finally, it is important to note that most jurisdictions have ruled that even when the borrowing statute is triggered, they will not borrow a statute of limitation longer than the limitation period of the forum state.
Before the Monetary Control Act of 1980, only banks that were members of the Federal Reserve System had regular access to discount window credit.(4) The act imposed reserve requirements on a much larger set of depository institutions and simultaneously extended discount window access to them.(5) As a result, nonmember commercial banks and savings banks as well as savings and loan associations (S&Ls) and credit unions became eligible to borrow at the discount window.(6)
265(a)(2) when an affiliated group member borrows funds and transfers them to another member, who then invests them in exempt obligations, However, the Tax Court addressed this issue in H Enterprises Int'l, Inc., TC Memo 1998-97, aff'd, 183 F3d 907 (8th Cir.
The extended model reveals that three borrowing regimes exist, with non-price rationing parameters indicating the regime in which the individual bank borrows. Furthermore, non-price rationing and spread forecasting parameters determine different borrowing reactions to the interest rate spread.
The GRAT's only asset was the closely held stock; thus, to make the annuity payments, the GRAT borrowed money from a second trust.
If this proposal is enacted, taxpayers would no longer be able to identify particular borrowed securities as the ones delivered on a short sale.