Hypertext Webster Gateway: "interest"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Interest \In"ter*est\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Interested}; p. pr.
& vb. n. {Interesting}.] [From interess'd, p. p. of the older
form interess, fr. F. int['e]resser, L. interesse. See
{Interest}, n.]
1. To engage the attention of; to awaken interest in; to
excite emotion or passion in, in behalf of a person or
thing; as, the subject did not interest him; to interest
one in charitable work.

To love our native country . . . to be interested in
its concerns is natural to all men. --Dryden.

A goddess who used to interest herself in marriages.

2. To be concerned with or engaged in; to affect; to concern;
to excite; -- often used impersonally. [Obs.]

Or rather, gracious sir, Create me to this glory,
since my cause Doth interest this fair quarrel.

3. To cause or permit to share. [Obs.]

The mystical communion of all faithful men is such
as maketh every one to be interested in those
precious blessings which any one of them receiveth
at God's hands. --Hooker.

Syn: To concern; excite; attract; entertain; engage; occupy;

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Interest \In"ter*est\, n. [OF. interest, F. int['e]r[^e]t, fr.
L. interest it interests, is of interest, fr. interesse to be
between, to be difference, to be importance; inter between +
esse to be; cf. LL. interesse usury. See {Essence}.]
1. Excitement of feeling, whether pleasant or painful,
accompanying special attention to some object; concern.

Note: Interest expresses mental excitement of various kinds
and degrees. It may be intellectual, or sympathetic and
emotional, or merely personal; as, an interest in
philosophical research; an interest in human suffering;
the interest which an avaricious man takes in money

So much interest have I in thy sorrow. --Shak.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or
something; "an interest in music" [syn: {involvement}]
2: the power of attracting or holding one's interest (because
it is unusual or exciting etc.); "they said nothing of
great interest"; "primary colors can add interest to a
room" [syn: {interestingness}] [ant: {uninterestingness}]
3: a reason for wanting something done; "for your sake"; "died
for the sake of his country"; "in the interest of safety";
"in the common interest" [syn: {sake}]
4: a fixed charge for borrowing money; usually a percentage of
the amount borrowed; "how much interest do you pay on your
5: a subject or pursuit that occupies one's time and thoughts
(usually pleasantly): "sailing is her favorite pastime";
"his main pastime is gambling"; "he counts reading among
his interests"; "they criticized the boy for his limited
interests" [syn: {pastime}]
6: a right or legal share of something; a financial involvement
with something; "they have interests all over the world";
"a stake in the company's future" [syn: {stake}]
7: (usually plural) a social group whose members control some
field of activity and who have common aims; "the iron
interests stepped up production" [syn: {interest group}]
v 1: excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of [ant: {bore}]
2: be on the mind of; "What is worrying you?" [syn: {concern},
{occupy}, {worry}]
3: be of importance or consequence; "This matters to me!" [syn:
{matter to}]

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