What is Loan?

Legal Definition
In finance, a loan is the lending of money from one individual, organization or entity to another individual, organization or entity. A loan is a debt provided by an entity (organization or individual) to another entity at an interest rate, and evidenced by a promissory note which specifies, among other things, the principal amount of money borrowed, the interest rate the lender is charging, and date of repayment. A loan entails the reallocation of the subject asset(s) for a period of time, between the lender and the borrower.

In a loan, the borrower initially receives or borrows an amount of money, called the principal, from the lender, and is obligated to pay back or repay an equal amount of money to the lender at a later time.

The loan is generally provided at a cost, referred to as interest on the debt, which provides an incentive for the lender to engage in the loan. In a legal loan, each of these obligations and restrictions is enforced by contract, which can also place the borrower under additional restrictions known as loan covenants. Although this article focuses on monetary loans, in practice any material object might be lent.

Acting as a provider of loans is one of the principal tasks for financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies. For other institutions, issuing of debt contracts such as bonds is a typical source of funding.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Something given for a borrower's temporary use. Refers especially to money that is borrowed and repaid with interest.
Legal Definition
Contracts. The act by which a person lets another have a thing to be used by him gratuitously, and which is to be returned, either in specie or in kind, agreeably to the terms of the contract. The thing which is thus transferred is also called a loan. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1077.

2. A loan in general implies that a thing is lent without reward; but, in some cases, a loan may be for a reward; as, the loan of money. 7 Pet. R. 109.

3. In order to make a contract usurious, there must be a loan; Cowp. 112, 770; 1 Ves. jr. 527; 2 Bl. R. 859; 3 Wils. 390 and the borrower must be bound to return the money at all events. 2 Scho. & Lef. 470. The purchase of a bond or note is not a loan ; 3 Scho. & Lef. 469; 9 Pet. R 103; but if such a purchase be merely colorable, it will be considered as a loan. 2 John. Cas. 60; Id. 66; 12 S. & R. 46; 15 John. R. 44.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A bailment without reward; consisting of the delivery of an article by the owner to another person, to be used by the latter gratuitously, and returned either in specie or in kind. A sum of money confided to another. Ramsey v. Whitbeck, 81 111. App. 210; Nichols v. Fearson, 7 Pet 109, 8 L. Ed. 623; Rodman v. Munson, 13 Barb. (N. Y.) 75; Booth v. Terrell, 16 Ga. 25; Payne v. Gardiner, 29 N. Y. 167. A loan of money is a contract by which one delivers a sum of money to another, and the latter agrees to return at a future time a sum equivalent to that which he borrowed. Civ. Code Cal. ยง 1912. Loan association. see Building and Loan Association.
See also
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Except with respect to money, to loan implies that the specific thing is to be returned after being used by the borrower. See 32 U. S. 109, 8 L. Ed. 623.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary