- to be under obligation to pay or repay: to owe money to the bank; to owe the bank interest on a mortgage.
- to be in debt to: He says he doesn't owe anybody.
- to be indebted (to) as the cause or source of: to owe one's fame to good fortune.
- to have or bear (a feeling or attitude) toward someone or something: to owe gratitude to one's rescuers.
- Obsolete. to possess; own.
- to be in debt: Neither lend nor owe. Who owes for the antipasto?
Origin of owe
Examples from the Web for owed
And much of the credit to her transformation is owed to a finishing school that caters to women just like her.Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
December 27, 2014
He also elected not to take advantage of a recent tax amnesty whereby he could have paid back just 10 percent of what he owed.Is Soccer Great Lionel Messi Corrupt?
December 8, 2014
That the song has become so indelible is likely owed to the fact that we can all sort of relate.‘My Crazy Love’ Reveals the Craziest Lies People Tell for Love
November 18, 2014
LePage owed his election in 2010 to a split opposition, as he won a tight three-way race over Cutler and Democrat Libby Mitchell.Republican Wave Carries Maine Governor Paul LePage to Victory
November 5, 2014
He presumably felt he owed it to himself to make one more visit to hell and report back with a cliché-busting dispatch.How Hitch & Amis Discovered Evil In My House
September 28, 2014
They owed me every thing, like you—their gratitude was unbounded, even as yours.
I have said that the Carters owed their little farm to the creek.The Raid From Beausejour; And How The Carter Boys Lifted The Mortgage
Charles G. D. Roberts
I pitied him; I owed him hospitality; but it seemed intolerable that he should be there.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
Mimi put in many words of how much Siegfried owed for all this care and trouble.Opera Stories from Wagner
I did not even tell her that I owed the worst and most lasting of my wounds to Philip.In the Valley
- to be under an obligation to pay (someone) to the amount of
- (intr) to be in debthe still owes for his house
- (often foll by to) to have as a result (of)he owes his success to chance
- to feel the need or obligation to do, give, etcto owe somebody thanks; to owe it to oneself to rest
- to hold or maintain in the mind or heart (esp in the phrase owe a grudge)
Word Origin and History for owed
Old English agan (past tense ahte) "to have, own," from Proto-Germanic *aiganan "to possess" (cf. Old Frisian aga, Old Norse eiga, Old High German eigan, Gothic aigan "to possess, have"), from PIE *aik- "to be master of, possess" (cf. Sanskrit ise "he owns," isah "owner, lord, ruler;" Avestan is- "riches," isvan- "well-off, rich").
Sense of "to have to repay" began in late Old English with the phrase agan to geldanne literally "to own to yield," which was used to translate Latin debere (earlier in Old English this would have been sceal "shall"); by late 12c. the phrase had been shortened to simply agan, and own (v.) took over this word's original sense.