Amortization (or amortisation; see spelling differences) is paying off an amount owed over time by making planned, incremental payments of principal and interest. To amortize a loan means "to kill it off". In accounting, amortization refers to charging or writing off an intangible asset's cost as an operational expense over its estimated useful life to reduce a company's taxable income.
The word comes from Middle English amortisen to kill, alienate in mortmain, from Anglo-French amorteser, alteration of amortir, from Vulgar Latin admortire "to kill", from Latin ad- and mort-, "death".
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