- something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.
- the binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; moral or legal obligation.
- an action or task required by a person's position or occupation; function: the duties of a clergyman.
- the respectful and obedient conduct due a parent, superior, elder, etc.
- an act or expression of respect.
- a task or chore that a person is expected to perform: It's your duty to do the dishes.
- an assigned task, occupation, or place of service: He was on radar duty for two years.
- the military service required of a citizen by a country: After graduation, he began his duty.
- Commerce. a specific or ad valorem tax imposed by law on the import or export of goods.
- a payment, service, etc., imposed and enforceable by law or custom.
- Chiefly British. tax: income duty.
- the amount of work done by an engine per unit amount of fuel consumed.
- the measure of effectiveness of any machine.
- Agriculture. the amount of water necessary to provide for the crop in a given area.
- Baby Talk. bowel movement.
- do duty, to serve the same function; substitute for: bookcases that do duty as room dividers.
- off duty, not at one's post or work; at liberty: They spent their days off duty in hiking and fishing.
- on duty, at one's post or work; occupied; engaged: He was suspended from the force for being drunk while on duty.
Origin of duty
SynonymsSee more synonyms for duty on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for duty
In his view, a writer has only one duty: to be present in his books.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
Our duty is to make sure that they realize that the Prophet is not avenged.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
He disagrees, though, and says it is the duty of every person—men, especially—to speak up on this issue.Can Hip-Hop Prevent Honor Killings?
December 30, 2014
They knew they might see things that will disturb them, but could not deter them from their duty.Any Outrage Out There for Ramos and Liu, Protesters?
December 22, 2014
Patrick Lynch, had said that De Blasio should stay away from the funerals of any police officers killed in the line of duty.Two Cops ‘Assassinated’ in Brooklyn
December 21, 2014
Being under his care, it was his duty to keep it in good condition.
Robert shrank from informing him, but he knew it to be his duty, and he was too brave to put it off.
He hates to go, but he says it's his duty; the call is so loud.
She had her duty to perform, and she expected to be taken care of till it was done.Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
All have done their duty well, and to them also I desire to render my thanks.Explorations in Australia
- a task or action that a person is bound to perform for moral or legal reasons
- respect or obedience due to a superior, older persons, etcfilial duty
- the force that binds one morally or legally to one's obligations
- a government tax, esp on imports
- the quantity or intensity of work for which a machine is designed
- a measure of the efficiency of a machine
- the quantity of water necessary to irrigate an area of land to grow a particular crop
- a job or service allocated
- (as modifier)duty rota
- do duty for to act as a substitute for
- off duty not at work
- on duty at work
Word Origin and History for duty
late 13c., from Anglo-French duete, from Old French deu "due, owed; proper, just," from Vulgar Latin *debutus, from Latin debitus, past participle of debere "to owe" (see debt). Related: Duties. The sense of "tax or fee on imports, exports, etc." is from late 15c.; duty-free as a noun is attested from 1958.
A tax charged by a government, especially on an import.
Idioms and Phrases with duty
In addition to the idiom beginning with duty
- duty bound
- above and beyond (the call of duty)
- active duty
do one's dutydouble dutyoff dutyon duty.