Interest – Meaning of

In Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th Edition, Vol. 32, “interest” has been defined as follows:

“127. Interest in General.—Interest is the return or compensation for the use or retention by one person of a sum of money belonging to or owed to another. Interest accrues from day to day even if payable only at intervals, and is, therefore, apportionable in respect of time between persons entitled in succession to the principal.”


According to Law Lexicon, by P.Ramanatha Aiyar, 3rd Edition (2005) Vol. 2:

“Interest” means the time value of the funds or money involved, which unless otherwise agreed, is calculated at the rate and on the basis customarily accepted by the banking community for the funds of money involved.”


In Words and Phrases Permanent Edition, Vol. 22, P. 148, “interest” means:

(i) “Interest” is compensation for loss of use of principal. Jersey City v. Zink, 44 A 2d 825 : 133 NJ Law 437 (1945).

(ii) “Interest” means compensation for the use or forbearance of money. Commr. of Internal Revenue v. Meyer, 139 F 2d 256 (6th Cir 1943).


Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition. (p. 812) defines “interest” as:

For use of money.—Interest is the compensation allowed by law or fixed by the parties for the use or forbearance of borrowed money. Jones v. Kansas Gas and Electric Company, 222 Kan 390 : 565 P 2d 597 (1977).


There is no manner of doubt that normally a person would be entitled to interest for the period he is deprived of the use of money and the same is used by the person with whom the money is lying. State of Karnataka v. Karnataka Pawn Brokers Association, (2018) 6 SCC 363.


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