- something that is owed or that one is bound to pay to or perform for another: a debt of $50.
- a liability or obligation to pay or render something: My debt to her for advice is not to be discharged easily.
- the condition of being under such an obligation: His gambling losses put him deeply in debt.
- Theology. an offense requiring reparation; a sin; a trespass.
Origin of debt
1175–1225; Middle English dette < Old French < Latin dēbita (neuter plural, taken in VL as feminine singular), noun use of dēbitus, past participle of dēbēre to owe, contraction of *dēhabēre, equivalent to dē- de- + habēre to have, possess
Synonyms for debt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- something that is owed, such as money, goods, or services
- bad debt a debt that has little or no prospect of being paid
- an obligation to pay or perform something; liability
- the state of owing something, esp money, or of being under an obligation (esp in the phrases in debt, in (someone's) debt)
- a temporary failure to maintain the necessary supply of somethingsleep debt; oxygen debt
Word Origin for debt
C13: from Old French dette, from Latin dēbitum, from dēbēre to owe, from de- + habēre to have; English spelling influenced by the Latin etymon
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Something that is deficient or required to restore a normal state.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
see head over heels (in debt).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.