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devoir

[duh-vwahr, dev-wahr; French duh-vwar]
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noun, plural de·voirs [duh-vwahrz, dev-wahrz; French duh-vwar] /dəˈvwɑrz, ˈdɛv wɑrz; French dəˈvwar/.
  1. an act of civility or respect.
  2. devoirs, respects or compliments.
  3. something for which a person is responsible; duty.
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Origin of devoir

1250–1300; Middle English devoir, deveir, dever < Old French devoir (Anglo-French deveir, dever) < Latin dēbēre to owe; cf. debt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

duty, task, business, office, assignment, work, project, thing, role, action, responsibility, operation, effort, stint, care, precondition, requisite, prerequisite, use, right

Examples from the Web for devoirs

Historical Examples

  • No, no, it was not thus your own brave countrymen understood their 'devoirs.'

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

  • Nature is the last goddess to whom my devoirs shall be paid.

  • How could any bow pay its devoirs distinctly to thirty-five strings?

    The Violin

    George Dubourg

  • It was my intention to pay my devoirs at Versailles tomorrow.

  • Think you, Madame, that I could remain long in Paris and fail to pay you my devoirs?

    Francezka

    Molly Elliot Seawell


British Dictionary definitions for devoirs

devoirs

pl n
  1. (sometimes singular) compliments or respects; courteous attentions
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French: duty, from devoir to be obliged to, owe, from Latin dēbēre; see debt
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