from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Something owed, such as money, goods, or services.
- n. An obligation or liability to pay or render something to someone else.
- n. The condition of owing: a young family always in debt.
- n. An offense requiring forgiveness or reparation; a trespass.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An action, state of mind, or object one has an obligation to perform for another, adopt toward another, or give to another.
- n. The state or condition of owing something to another.
- n. Money that one person or entity owes or is required to pay to another, generally as a result of a loan or other financial transaction.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. That which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods, or services; that which one person is bound to pay to another, or to perform for his benefit; thing owed; obligation; liability.
- n. A duty neglected or violated; a fault; a sin; a trespass.
- n. An action at law to recover a certain specified sum of money alleged to be due.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which is due from one person to another, whether money, goods, or services, and whether payable at present or at a future time; that which one person is bound to pay to or perform for another; what one is obliged to do or to suffer; a due; a duty; an obligation.
- n. The state of being under obligation to make payment, as of money or services, to another; figuratively, the state of being under obligation in general.
- n. An offense requiring reparation or expiation; default of duty: a trespass; a sin.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the state of owing something (especially money)
- n. an obligation to pay or do something
- n. money or goods or services owed by one person to another
Middle English dette, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *dēbita, pl. of Latin dēbitum, debt, neuter past participle of dēbēre, to owe; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English dett, from Old French dete (French: dette), from Medieval Latin dēbita, from Latin dēbitum ("what is owed, a debt, a duty"), neuter of dēbitus, perfect passive participle of dēbeō ("I owe"), contraction of *dehibeō (“I have from”), from de ("from") + habeō ("I have"). (Wiktionary)