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]


Nearby words

  1. do not go gentle into that good night... rage, rage against the dying of the light,
  2. do one,
  3. do one good,
  4. do one's best,
  5. do one's bit,
  6. do one's heart good,
  7. do one's homework,
  8. do one's thing,
  9. do oneself in,
  10. do or die

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