from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion: Do your duty to your country.
- n. Moral obligation: acting out of duty.
- n. The compulsion felt to meet such obligation.
- n. A service, function, or task assigned to one, especially in the armed forces: hazardous duty.
- n. Function or work; service: jury duty. See Synonyms at function.
- n. A tax charged by a government, especially on imports.
- n. The work performed by a machine under specified conditions.
- n. A measure of efficiency expressed as the amount of work done per unit of energy used.
- n. The total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.
- idiom duty bound Obliged: You are duty bound to help your little sister and brother.
- idiom off duty Not engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
- idiom on duty Engaged in or responsible for assigned work.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. That which one is morally or legally obligated to do.
- n. A period of time spent at work or doing a particular task.
- n. describing a workload as to its idle, working and de-energized periods.
- n. A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
- n. One's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. That which is due; payment.
- n. That which a person is bound by moral obligation to do, or refrain from doing; that which one ought to do; service morally obligatory.
- n. Hence, any assigned service or business
- n. Specifically, obedience or submission due to parents and superiors.
- n. Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
- n. The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
- n. Tax, toll, impost, or customs; excise; any sum of money required by government to be paid on the importation, exportation, or consumption of goods.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Obligatory service; that which ought to be done; that which one is bound by natural, moral, or legal obligation to do or perform.
- n. The obligation to do something; the binding or obligatory force of that which is morally right: as, when duty calls, one must obey.
- n. Due obedience; submission; compliant or obedient service.
- n. A feeling of obligation, or an act manifesting such feeling; an expression of submissive deference or respectful consideration.
- n. Any requisite procedure, service, business, or office; that which one ought to do; particularly, any stated service or function: as, the duties of one's station in life; to go or be on duty; the regiment did duty in Flanders.
- n. In mech., the number of foot-pounds of work done per bushel or per hundredweight of fuel consumed: as, the duty of a steam-engine.
- n. That which is due; an obligation; compensation; dues.
- n. A tax or impost; excise or customs dues; the sum of money levied by a government upon certain articles, specifically on articles imported or exported: as, the stamp duty of Great Britain; the legacy duty; the duties on sugar; ad valorem and specific duties.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a government tax on imports or exports
- n. the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
- n. work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons
Ross thinks that duty proper, as he calls it, is a quite different sort of thing from a prima facie duty; the notion of ˜duty™ in ˜prima facie duty™ is a different notion from that in ˜duty proper™.
"I know that Elise has a conscience that will hold her fast to duty," said Benigna, but she did not speak hopefully: she spoke deliberately, however, thinking that these words _conscience_ and _duty_ might arrest the minister's attention, and that he would perhaps, by some means, throw light upon questions which were constantly becoming more perplexing to her.
In the duty of accumulation -- and I call it a _duty_, in the most strict and literal signification of that word -- all below a competence is most valuable, and its acquisition most laudable; but all above a fortune is a misfortune.
Then it becomes our duty to screen not only the advance of our own troops and to secure to our Infantry the advantages of being able to advance undisturbed, but the climax of all these duties will be reached _in the far more important duty_, in the now indispensable task, of securing the _widest possible sphere of intelligence_.
Patsey, who always says, "We are prompted by a deep sense of duty, my dear, _duty_!"
The meaning in this case is no doubt clear enough, and the words "awful duty" may be the right ones; but had they stood _lawful duty_ in any old copy, he should have been a bold man who would have proposed to substitute
She was quite sure that she felt no desire to shrink from duty, however humble, but she sighed for some comforting assurance of what _was duty_.
The flames of war are already kindled — they are gathering along our coast and threatening upon out frontiers; the duty — the common duty* therefore, of Ameri. can citizens is, to use all means in their power, to bring the contest to the most speedy and most favourable issue.
A sermon, delivered in the meeting house of the First Baptist church in the city of New York, August 20th, 1812. Being a day recommended, by the constituted authorities of the nation, as a day of special humiliation and prayer, on account of the present war
And having deduced 'that good of man which is private and particular, as far as seemeth fit,' he returns 'to that good of man which respects and beholds society,' which he terms DUTY, because the term of duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the term of VIRTUE is applied to a mind well formed and composed in itself; though neither can a man understand _virtue, without some relation to society_, nor _duty, without an inward disposition_.
Being derelict in duty is another matter entirely.