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1. To extinguish a debt gradually by means of a sinking fund or repay a debt in equal installments over a period of time. Each periodic payment (usually a monthly payment) includes principal and interest. The initial payments include higher amounts of interest. Over the period of time when the principal amount is gradually reduced, the monthly payments include more principal and less interest.
2. To arrange to extinguish a debt by gradual increments.
3. In history, it was used to signify alienation or conveyance of lands to a corporation.