from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A promise to pay a debt, especially a signed paper stating the specific amount owed and often bearing the letters IOU.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- I owe you.
- n. An informal written note promising to pay the stated sum.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A paper having on it these letters, with a sum named, and duly signed; -- in use in England as an acknowledgment of a debt, and taken as evidence thereof, but not amounting to a promissory note; a due bill.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A memorandum or acknowledgment of debt less formal than a promissory note, and in England sometimes containing only these letters, with the sum owed and the signature of the debtor. It is not a promissory note, because no direct promise to pay is expressed.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an informal debt instrument; representing `I owe you'
From the pronunciation of I owe you.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the pronunciation of "I owe you", not the initial letters. (Wiktionary)