Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.