I'm looking for a single word describing a person who lends money to dynasties or kingdoms in large amounts? who does not lend small amounts to anyone, hence they generally do not lend to individuals.

In most cases such people lend money for interest and against some guarantee like house, land, gold or something on those lines.

Most probably a word should be old and may or may not be in use today.

do we have any single word describing such a person?

  • 11
    Yes: moneylender. It's already a single word. (I'm not aware of a word for lenders who only deal with kingdoms though.)
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 18, 2020 at 7:28
  • @nnnnnn Yeah, I know that one but those are people who generally lend money to individuals not dynasties or kingdoms... hence looking for a right word here. should be an old word as far as I understand and mostly won't be in use today or may have very less usage as of today.
    – Hrish
    Jun 18, 2020 at 7:32
  • Some possibilities: capitalist, entrepreneur, speculator, tycoon, financier
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 18, 2020 at 16:32

7 Answers 7


Try "financier".

The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as

a person who has control of a large amount of money and can give or lend it to people or organizations

  • 1
    +1 because of a very nice fit in meaning. I would add that the word has a rather modern feel, and the OP should be extra cautious if they are e.g. writing historical fantasy set in the Antique. My gut feel is that it would seem out-of-epoque for settings before the Rennaisance.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 18, 2020 at 17:22
  • @rumtscho Thanks for your comment. Speaking of the Renaissance, mentalfloss.com/article/71963/… talks about various bankers and financiers, including the Medicis from the 15th century Renaissance, who were very influential in Italy in those days. Later on, over in the US, financier Salomon "was a key player in the American fight for independence". But yes, I'm not sure where the OP intends to use the word. Jun 18, 2020 at 17:34
  • I used the phrase "out of epoque ... before the Rennaisance" in a literal, mathematical sense - to me the word feels fitting for the Rennaisance and later ages, but not before that. So that corresponds to your sources too. Of course one can use the word for people who lived before that, but that subtly changes the perceived relationship between the narrator and the narrative - a TV documentary using the word for a historical person sounds fine, a fictional work in which a viking king refers to a character as "my financier" would be jarring to read for me.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 18, 2020 at 17:44
  • 1
    Your answer is already a great fit, and I would be surprised if there is another word that is also archaic. My comment wasn't meant as a critique, just an additional piece of information to the OP and others who might decide to use the word.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 18, 2020 at 17:55
  • 1
    @anotherdave LOL, looks delicious, though Jun 19, 2020 at 8:53

A backer is someone, or an institution, providing (usually) financial support for an undertaking. Lexico has


1 A person, institution, or country that supports someone or something, especially financially.
Which major backer would financially support a party that had no chance whatsoever of gaining political power?

Sometimes the payback isn't the usual monetary percentage, but a broader interest. For example a major engineering project such as a harbour or a railway might be supported, for the longer term goal of promoting lucrative trade.


There is no single word that describes what you want to describe. It would hardly ever see use. In fact, it's hard to think of a specific example in the real world. Even the largest banks are often willing to lend to individuals. Central Banks, such as the Federal Reserve, meet many of your criteria and they will generally not deal with individuals or with small transactions, so they come close, but they often do not require collateral and their lending function is often secondary to their other functions to the point they are sometimes called "lenders of last resort".

Your initial word of "lender" comes closest. It is broader than what you are looking for, but if used without any attachments, people will default to assuming it is a money lender. You can then explain that this specific lender meets your other criteria of not dealing with individuals, being large, etc. While not limited to them, this term is routinely applied to certain types of hedge funds, the federal reserve, and other entities that do meet most of your criteria in financial and legal documents so it is probably the best word you will find.

With credit to auspicious99 for pointing it out first, "financier" also comes close. However, it would include many others that do not. Merriam-Webster defines financier as:

1: one who specializes in raising and expending public money

2: one who deals with finance and investment on a large scale

A venture capitalist is likely a specific type of financier, especially if they help recruit other early stage investors. But a venture capitalist, at least while acting as such, is more likely to purchase equity than lend money. Also, while it is certainly proper to call a lender a financier, the term is more often applied to middlemen. It would fit the institution you want to describe, but it would also fit a lot of other things.


A usurer is someone who lends money at unreasonably-high levels of interest.

(There are some who consider all commercial interest rates to be ‘unreasonably high’, but that's not the usual meaning.)

  • 4
    As usurer doesn't start with a vowel sound, the appropriate form of the indefinite article is a. Jun 18, 2020 at 16:27
  • @EdwinAshworth Exodus 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. (KJV) Moses may not take kindly to your opinion.
    – B. Goddard
    Jun 18, 2020 at 18:03
  • @B.Goddard The pronunciation of the word "usurer" has changed since the King James Version was written. Jun 18, 2020 at 18:30
  • 1
    @B Goddard Moses is doubtless fully aware of changes in languages, though I doubt even modern English is his first language. Jun 18, 2020 at 18:43
  • Both an and a seem to be common articles, but the latter is around twice as popular, so I've edited the answer to use that. (And of course not just the pronunciation but the meaning of the word has shifted over time, in line with what rates people consider reasonable…)
    – gidds
    Jun 18, 2020 at 20:59

"Patron" fits the bill.

A "patron" is someone who supports organizations, kingdoms or dynasties by lending money.

According to Cambridge English dictionary, patron is a person or group that supports an activity or organization, especially by giving money.

  • 4
    The usual word was "banker" - a superior moneylender. I am not sure that "patron" is exactly what is required - a patron donates rather than lends money, and is superior to the person he lends it to: OED "5.a. A person or organization that uses money or influence to advance the interests of a person, cause, art, etc.;... In later use also: a distinguished person who holds an honorary position in a charity, foundation, etc. Also figurative.Often, esp. in early use, connoting something of the superior relation of the wealthy or powerful Roman patron to his client."
    – Greybeard
    Jun 18, 2020 at 9:08
  • 1
    -1, a patron gives freely or in exchange for immediate benefit. I can't find any definition of patron that involves lending or an expectation of repayment. Jun 18, 2020 at 17:48

How about “Creditor”? This could be the word you are looking for.

  • 2
    This answer would be much improved with a cited dictionary definition, and an example or two exemplifying similar usage.
    – DW256
    Jun 21, 2020 at 1:51

What about 'loaner' ? It's a bit generic but it might work.

  • 2
    When you drop your car off for repair overnight and the repair shop lets you borrow/rent a car to use during the repair, that car is a loaner. I've heard it used in other contexts, but always with the same general definition (for example, a jewelry shop might give you a loaner watch while they repair your watch). Example: Me: "Hey Bob, nice car". Bob: "I got lucky, I dropped my car off and this is the only loaner the dealer had".
    – Flydog57
    Jun 18, 2020 at 20:57

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