AMORTIZATION 1. is the gradual reduction of a debt by means of equal periodic payments sufficient to meet current interest and liquidate the debt at maturity. When the debt involves real property, often the periodic payments include a sum sufficient to pay taxes and hazard insurance on the property. 2. is the process of spreading the cost of an intangible asset over the expected useful life of the asset. For example: a company pays $100,000 for a patent, they amortize the cost over the 16 year useful life of the patent. 3. the deduction of capital expenses over a specific period of time. Similar to depreciation, it is a method of measuring the "consumption" of the value of long-term assets like equipment or buildings.