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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

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