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[deb-it] /ˈdɛb ɪt/
the recording or an entry of debt in an account.
  1. that which is entered in an account as a debt; a recorded item of debt.
  2. any entry or the total shown on the debit side.
  3. the left-hand side of an account on which such entries are made (opposed to credit).
an undesirable or disadvantageous feature.
verb (used with object)
to charge with a debt:
The store debited her account for the purchase.
to charge as a debt:
The store debited the purchase to her account.
Bookkeeping. to enter upon the debit side of an account.
Origin of debit
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Old French < Latin dēbitum something owed; see debt
Related forms
predebit, noun, verb (used with object)
redebit, verb (used with object)
undebited, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for debit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Would you exterminate him because in your blindness you only note the debit side?

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • debit balances have increased £509,840, and now include Treasury bills.

    The World in Chains John Mavrogordato
  • The law of debit and credit is curious, and amounts to actual slavery.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • It was Desk and debit, for which I had been seeking for weeks.

    Desk and Debit Oliver Optic
  • On the debit side: "To team, Sambo and Dinah, with wagon and harness, $578.00."

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
British Dictionary definitions for debit


  1. acknowledgment of a sum owing by entry on the left side of an account
  2. the left side of an account
  3. an entry on this side
  4. the total of such entries
  5. (as modifier): a debit balance Compare credit (sense 10)
verb -its, -iting, -ited
  1. to record (an item) as a debit in an account
  2. to charge (a person or his account) with a debt Compare credit (sense 17)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēbitumdebt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for debit

mid-15c., from Middle French debet or directly from Latin debitum "thing owed, that which is owing," neuter past participle of debere "to owe" (see debt). As a verb from 1680s. Debit card is attested from 1975.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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