1. A tax deduction for the gradual consumption of the value of an intangible asset. For example, if a company spends $10 million on a 10-year license, it amortizes the expense by deducting $1,000,000 from its taxable income per year for 10 years. Often used interchangeably with depreciation, which is the same thing for tangible assets. 2. The spreading of loan repayments over a given period of time.