The cost of debt service paid by a borrower or issuer to a lender or investor. The rate is expressed as an annual percentage of the amount borrowed. For some notes and bonds that pay interest semiannually, the semiannual interest due to the investor used to be evidenced by a coupon that could be detached and sent for collection. Thus the cost to the issuer for notes and bonds paying semiannual interest is often called the coupon rate. Lenders or investors may receive a yield that is higher or lower than the rate. American Banker Glossary

* * *

I. rate rate 1 [reɪt] noun [countable]
1. a charge or payment fixed according to a standard scale:

• We have advised (= informed ) our client of your hourly rate.

• The councils have powers to set minimum rates of pay.

• I'm told $25 an hour is the going rate (= the usual amount paid ) for private tuition.

ˈcheque rate , check rate BANKING
the rate of commission charged, for example by a bank for writing or cashing a cheque in a foreign currency
the amount paid for someone to do a day's work:

• JPF Clarke builders in North London work out their day rates by a range of set charges for various craftsmen.

ˈmarket rate COMMERCE
1. the real price or cost of something, decided by a market rather than calculated or fixed, for example by a government:

• Restrictive gas contracts required the company to purchase its gas at prices far above market rates.

2. a typical rate for something on a market at a particular time:

• This measure will force credit card issuers to change from fixed to flexible rates, which would rise and fall with market rates.

3. the price of something calculated in relation to what buyers are willing to pay at a particular time:

• The spread between the official and the market rate has remained at less than 1% for the past five years.

ˈpiece rate also ˈpiecework ˌrate HUMAN RESOURCES MANUFACTURING
an amount of money that is paid for each item a worker produces, rather than for the time taken to make it:

• The workers are paid on a piece rate.

ˈrack rate COMMERCE
the standard price that a hotel charges for a room, before any Discounts:

• The company offers 50% off the rack rate at leading hotels and resorts.

2. the number of examples of something or the number of times something happens, often expressed as a percentage:

• Canada's unemployment rate rose to 8.3% of the working population in August.

• The pension finding service has an 87% success rate.

• The failure rate of small businesses is notoriously high.

ˈclick rate also ˈclick-through ˌrate abbreviation CTR MARKETING
the percentage of people visiting a website who click on an advertisement or a link that takes them to another website:

• The click-through rate is a good measure of the effectiveness of an advertisement.

conˈversion ˌrate
1. MARKETING the number of sales in relation to the number of sales visits, phone calls etc:

• The key to direct marketing is whether you open the envelope, and our conversion rates should be three times higher than our rivals'.

2. COMMERCE the figure showing how much of one thing you get in exchange for another thing:

• Foreign banks generally offer a better conversion rate for travellers' cheques than for cash.

morˈtality ˌrate also ˈdeath rate INSURANCE
the number of people who die every year in a particular area, country etc as a proportion of the population as a whole; = DEATH RATE:

• The mortality rate for male hotel, restaurant and food service workers is double that for teachers.

3. the speed at which something happens:

• Companies have been going out of business at an incredible rate (= very fast ) .

abˈsorption rate
PROPERTY the speed at which new houses, offices etc are sold or rented:

• The city has a negative absorption rate right now — more space is being vacated than rented.

depreciˈation rate ACCOUNTING
the rate at which an asset is calculated to go down in value each year, especially in the annual accounts of a business :

• The report recommends an increase of depreciation rates for computer software from 12.5% to 20%.

4. also tax rate TAX the part of your income or the part of the price of something that you pay in tax:

• Those who earn $180,000 to $280,000 will see their tax rates drop to 31% from 33% this year.

ˌbasic ˈrate
TAX the percentage of income that most people pay in tax. The basic rate is paid on income up to a particular level, after which a higher rate is paid:

• The Conservatives cut the basic rate of income tax by nearly a quarter, from 33p to 25p in the pound.

efˌfective ˈtax rate TAX
the average rate at which someone pays tax on their total income, calculated from the income on which they pay no tax and the income on which they pay tax at a particular rate:

• American Home Products Corp. reported a 12% gain in its earnings as the company benefited from a lower effective tax rate.

ˌmarginal ˈrate also ˌmarginal ˈtax rate
TAX the rate of income tax that someone pays on the part of their income that is taxed the most:

• This year's top marginal rate, the rate at which your last dollar of income is taxed, is actually higher than 31% for many high-income taxpayers.

ˌstandard ˈrate TAX
1. the rate of income tax paid by most people who earn enough to pay tax but not enough to pay a high rate of tax:

• The government has cut the standard rate of income tax to 25p in the pound.

2. the normal rate of value paid on goods:

• The cost of the building work would attract Value Added Tax at the standard rate.

ˌuniform ˈbusiness ˌrate abbreviation UBR TAX
a tax on land and buildings used for business which is the same rate for the whole country:

• Small firms benefited from a reform of the uniform business rate.

5. also interest rate FINANCE BANKING the percentage charged for borrowing money, or a percentage you receive when you put money in a bank, make an investment etc:

• Interest rates are falling and now is the time to buy property.

• The rate on the bank's standard credit cards will be 18.9%.

• Mortgage rates will fall; corporate bond rates will fall; municipal bonds rates will also fall.

• the most recent changes in the short and long rates (= the rates for borrowing over short and long periods of time )

ˌannual eˈquivalent ˌrate abbreviation AER FINANCE
a rate of interest, which shows how much interest you receive from an investment in one year, if each interest payment is added to the deposit before the following year's payment is calculated :

• When choosing a monthly interest account, look for the annual equivalent rate ( AER). This gives the best picture of the account's true rate.

ˌannual perˈcentage ˌrate abbreviation APR FINANCE BANKING
the compound rate that you must pay when you borrow money, including all charges. In many countries, the APR must be shown in advertisements for loans to give the true cost of borrowing
ˌBank of ˌEngland ˌminimum ˈlending ˌrate FINANCE BANKING
another name for base rate
another name for base rate
the basic rate of interest charged by the Bank of England, that replaced the bank rate and the minimum The rates charged by all banks on their lending rise and fall with the base rate, and this has an important influence on the economy as a whole. Bank rate and minimum lending rate are still used in Britain and other countries to talk about the base rate:

• You will pay 2% below the base rate for the first two years of your mortgage.

ˈbill rate
FINANCE the interest rate for Treasury bill S (= government bonds):

• money attracted to Kenya by high bill rates

ˌcapitaliˈzation ˌrate or capitalisation rate also cap rate FINANCE BANKING
the interest rate used to calculate the present value of a series of future payments
ˈcapped rate FINANCE BANKING
an interest rate on a loan that can change, but cannot go above a certain value that is fixed at the time when the loan is taken out
ˈcompound rate also ˈcompounded ˌrate FINANCE BANKING
an interest rate based on the Prinicipal (= the original amount invested or borrowed) and on the interest payments received earlier on an investment, or the amount remaining to be repaid on a loan:

• Left untouched for five years, an investment of £100 in the Series A bond is guaranteed to grow to £176.24, a compound rate of 12% per year.

ˈcoupon rate FINANCE
the rate of interest paid on a bond:

• debentures issued at coupon rates which reflect current rates of inflation

ˈdiscount rate FINANCE BANKING
1. the rate charged by a central bank for lending to other banks. Changes in this rate will influence interest rates in the economy as a whole:

• The central bank increased its discount rate to discourage borrowing.

2. the rate charged by a bank to discount a bill of exchange
3. the interest rate used to calculate the discounted cash flow from an investment:

• At a discount rate of 20%, which project should be accepted?

efˌfective ˈrate
1. FINANCE BANKING the rate of interest paid on a loan or received from money held in a bank account
2. FINANCE the amount of profit from a bond, calculated from the purchase price and the interest that is paid until the bond becomes due for payment
ˌEuropean ˌinterbank ˈoffered ˌrate abbreviation Euribor
FINANCE BANKING the interest rate for lending between banks in Euro S
ˌfixed ˈrate FINANCE BANKING
an interest rate on a loan that is fixed at the time when the loan is taken out and does not change
a rate of interest charged on a loan from the moment it is taken out. The loan is paid back in instalment S (= a series of payments)
ˌfloating ˈrate also ˌvariable ˈrate FINANCE BANKING
an interest rate that can change during the life of the loan:

• CB is trying to substitute floating rate for fixed rate mortgages in France.

ˌinterbank ˈoffered ˌrate also ˈinterbank rate FINANCE BANKING
an interest rate at which banks lend to each other, often used as a reference point for other rates:

• DM6 billion of floating-rate notes at the six-month Frankfurt interbank offered rate plus 0.05 points

the rate charged by a central bank for lending to other banks:

• The central bank of Turkey raised its key rate to 15%.

ˌminimum ˈlending ˌrate FINANCE BANKING
another name for base rate
ˌnegative ˈinterest ˌrate ECONOMICS
the difference between the inflation rate and interest rates when prices are rising more quickly than interest rates:

• The government's measures have caused negative interest rates in real, inflation-adjusted terms.

ˌnominal ˈinterest ˌrate FINANCE
1. an interest rate on bonds that does not take account of the real price at which they are sold:

• The convertible bonds will carry a nominal interest rate of 8% and expire in 9.5 years.

2. an interest rate that is considered by itself, without referring to inflation (= the speed at which prices are rising):

• All a country gets from higher monetary growth is higher inflation, higher nominal interest rates and a less productive economy.

ˌprime ˈrate also ˌprime ˈlending ˌrate FINANCE BANKING
the most favourable interest rate for borrowing money, given by a bank to customers with the lowest risk of not repaying the loan:

• The prime rate is the base for various bank lending charges.

ˈteaser rate BANKING FINANCE
a low interest rate charged at the beginning of a loan to encourage people to borrow money:

• Although thrifts offer initial teaser rates on adjustable mortgages that are lower than the current fixed rates, many consumers seem to prefer the security of a fixed rate.

ˌvariable ˈrate FINANCE BANKING
another name for floating rate
6. also insurance rate INSURANCE the amount you have to pay for insurance:

• Women drivers get cheaper insurance rates because their accident records are better.

ˌaverage ˈrate INSURANCE
the average of several rates for different kinds of insurance risk
ˌshort-ˈperiod ˌrate INSURANCE
a rate charged on an insurance contract that lasts for less than a year
7. a payment for a public service, usually based on the value of the property owned by the person who uses the service:

• a non-domestic water rate of 3.4 pence in the pound

  [m0] II. rate rate 2 verb
1. [transitive] to think that someone or something has a particular quality, value, or standard:
rate be rated ( as) something

• The Salzburg Sheraton is rated as one of the city's best hotels.

• I rate this agreement highly as an achievement by the two governments.

2. [intransitive, transitive] to be considered as having a particular quality, value, or standard:
rate as

• It rates as one of the most comfortable PC keyboards I've tried.

• The SLR can hardly be rated as a precision piece of equipment.

3. [transitive] FINANCE to measure the risk of investing in or lending to a company, local authority etc:

• Moody's Investors Service Inc. has rated the bonds single-A-1.

• Richard Simon of Goldman Sachs has rated Paramount stock a `hold' for the past year.

— rated adjective [not before a noun] :

• The bonds are insured and triple-A-rated.

4. [transitive] to measure the performance of a ship or machine so it can be put in a particular class
— rated adjective :

• Each machine has a rated capacity of (= ability to produce ) 600 tonnes per hour.

* * *

rate UK US /reɪt/ noun [C]
the speed at which something happens: at a fast/slow/steady rate »

The economy grew at a slower rate in the third quarter than previously estimated.

an alarming/incredible/surprising rate »

The future of the channel is under threat after losing viewers and advertisers at an alarming rate.

cut/reduce/slow down the rate »

The dip in consumer spending was a key factor in slowing down the rate of growth in the economy.


double/increase/speed up the rate of sth


improve/maintain the rate of sth

the amount of something, or the number of times something happens in a particular period: »

at a rate of 20%/100 a day, etc.


The group's business plan shows it growing at its current rate for the next five years.

rising/falling rate »

The report examines the reasons for the rising rate of personal bankruptcy.

unemployment/jobless rate »

Economists predict that the unemployment rate will continue to rise over the next 12 months.


It is an area with high poverty and a high crime rate.


the birth/death/divorce rate


the failure/success rate

HR, INSURANCE an amount of money that is charged or paid for a particular service: cheap/competitive/reasonable rate »

The network offers the cheapest rates for mobile calls from abroad.


The survey found that the average rate of pay was $9.51 per hour for women and $12.95 for men.

charge/pay/set a rate »

We charge a rate of between €500 and €800 per day.


a daily/hourly/weekly rate

FINANCE, TAX the amount that is charged as tax on income, interest on loans, etc., usually shown as a percentage: a competitive/reduced/special rate »

Some internet banks offer personal loans at highly competitive rates.

falling/high/rising rate »

How much a bond fund falls in a rising rate environment depends on its duration.

a fall/rise/cut in the rate »

We are likely to see a rise in the rate of VAT.


an annual/monthly/quarterly rate


the loan/savings rate

a rate cut/increase/hike »

I think we need another rate increase to keep inflation down.

rates — Cf. rates
See also ABSORPTION RATE(Cf. ↑absorption rate), AER(Cf. ↑AER), APR(Cf. ↑APR), AVERAGE RATE(Cf. ↑average rate), BANK RATE(Cf. ↑bank rate), BASE RATE(Cf. ↑base rate), BASIC RATE(Cf. ↑basic rate), BILL RATE(Cf. ↑bill rate), CAPITALIZATION RATE(Cf. ↑capitalization rate), CAPPED RATE(Cf. ↑capped rate), CHEQUE RATE(Cf. ↑cheque rate), CLICK-THROUGH RATE(Cf. ↑click-through rate), COMPOUND RATE(Cf. ↑compound rate), CONVERSION RATE(Cf. ↑conversion rate), DAY RATE(Cf. ↑day rate), DEPRECIATION RATE(Cf. ↑depreciation rate), DISCOUNT RATE(Cf. ↑discount rate), EFFECTIVE RATE(Cf. ↑effective rate), EFFECTIVE TAX RATE(Cf. ↑effective tax rate), EURIBOR(Cf. ↑Euribor), EXCHANGE RATE(Cf. ↑exchange rate), FIXED RATE(Cf. ↑fixed rate), FLAT RATE(Cf. ↑flat rate), FLOATING RATE(Cf. ↑floating rate), GOING RATE(Cf. ↑going rate), GROWTH RATE(Cf. ↑growth rate), INTERBANK OFFERED RATE(Cf. ↑interbank offered rate), INTEREST RATE(Cf. ↑interest rate), LENDING RATE(Cf. ↑lending rate), MARGINAL RATE(Cf. ↑marginal rate), MARKET RATE(Cf. ↑market rate), MORTALITY RATE(Cf. ↑mortality rate), NEGATIVE INTEREST RATE(Cf. ↑negative interest rate), NOMINAL INTEREST RATE(Cf. ↑nominal interest rate), PIECE RATE(Cf. ↑piece rate), PRIME RATE(Cf. ↑prime rate), RACK RATE(Cf. ↑rack rate), SHORT-PERIOD RATE(Cf. ↑short-period rate), STANDARD RATE(Cf. ↑standard rate), TAX RATE(Cf. ↑tax rate), TEASER RATE(Cf. ↑teaser rate), UNIFORM BUSINESS RATE(Cf. ↑uniform business rate), VARIABLE RATE(Cf. ↑variable rate), WATER RATES(Cf. ↑water rates)
rate UK US /reɪt/ verb
[I or T] to have, or be thought to have, a particular value or quality: rate (sth) highly »

The broadband deal is rated highly in a survey by Which magazine.


The sector's most highly-rated analyst team advised investors to book profits.

rate (sth) as sth »

That must rate as one of the worst investments the company has ever made.


be rated a failure/success

[T] to give something a particular value or position in a list, according to a set of standards: »

The survey asked consumers to rate the elements that would most influence their purchasing decision.

be rated A/15/R, etc. »

This film is rated 18, and is for adults only.

[T] COMMERCE, ENVIRONMENT to give something such as a piece of electrical equipment a number or letter that shows how powerful it is, how much electricity it uses, etc. so that consumers can compare products: be rated A/B/X, etc. »

The washing machine is rated A for energy efficiency.

[T] FINANCE, STOCK MARKET to give an investment a particular value after examining the level of risk involved: be rated (as) investment grade/A/Triple A etc. »

Debt rated AA has a very strong capacity to pay interest and repay principal.

rate sth (as) a buy/hold/sell — Cf. rate sth as a sell
See also ZERO-RATED(Cf. ↑zero-rated)

Financial and business terms. 2012.


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