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1. Financial markets.

Interest is an amount charged for borrowing money, or earned from a fixed income investment or from a floating interest rate investment.

In this context, interest rates are generally expressed at a percentage of the principal amount borrowed or invested.

2. Financial markets.

More generally, interest can be any difference between the terminal value and the present value of a borrowing or an investment, often expressed as a money amount (though it can also be expressed as a percentage).

3. Law.

An interest is also a right or expectation in relation to identified property, usually falling short of outright ownership.

For example, a minority interest in a business, or a security interest such as a lien.

4. Rights and expectations.

Interest can also refer to a broader class of rights or expectations, not necessarily attached to any particular property.

For example, the public interest.

See also