from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An act or expression of respect or courtesy; civility. Often used in the plural: pay one's devoirs.
- n. Duty or responsibility.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Duty, business; something which one must do.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Duty; service owed; hence, due act of civility or respect; -- now usually in the plural.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Duty or service; hence, an act of civility or respect; respectful notice due to another: as, we paid our devoirs to our host.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. formal expression of respect
Middle English, duty, from Old French, from devoir, to owe, from Latin dēbēre; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French deveir (French devoir), from Latin debere ("to owe") (Wiktionary)