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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]

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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]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.