do one's duty


1

Do one's tasks or what is expected of one. For example, He was only doing his duty when he made the children finish their work. [Early 1500s]

2

Defecate or urinate, as in Please keep the dog outdoors until he does his duty. This euphemism for attending to such needs is heard less often today. [1930s]

QUIZZES

Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following bird names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.