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[det-er] /ˈdɛt ər/
a person who is in debt or under financial obligation to another (opposed to creditor).
Origin of debtor
1250-1300; Middle English detto(u)r < Anglo-French dett(o)ur, de(b)tour, Old French det(t)or < Latin dēbitōr-, stem of dēbitor, equivalent to dēbi-, variant stem of dēbēre (see debt) + -tor -tor
Related forms
nondebtor, noun
predebtor, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for debtor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he was overpowered by these fits, the debtor often turned it for him.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • She had nothing to reproach him with; on the contrary, she felt she was his debtor.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • We have paid our debts; we have become a creditor rather than a debtor nation.

  • No man lives in freedom anywhere on earth who is not his debtor and his follower.

  • But Blake was playing for a fortune, for shelter from a debtor's prison.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for debtor


a person or commercial enterprise that owes a financial obligation Compare creditor
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 debtor

early 13c., dettur, dettour, from Old French detour, from Latin debitor "a debter," from past participle stem of debere; see debt. The -b- was restored in later French, and in English c.1560-c.1660. The KJV has detter three times, debter three times, debtor twice and debtour once.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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