noun, plural du·ties.
- 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.
- the amount of work done by an engine per unit amount of fuel consumed.
- the measure of effectiveness of any machine.
- duty bound,
- duty officer,
- duty to retreat,
Origin of duty
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|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
He disagrees, though, and says it is the duty of every person—men, especially—to speak up on this issue.
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?|Mike Barnicle|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Patrick Lynch, had said that De Blasio should stay away from the funerals of any police officers killed in the line of duty.
"God grant that Canada may see its duty clearly," said Mr. McPherson.The Major|Ralph Connor
We were such good friends, and we felt, I daresay, that it was our duty to love each other.Robert Orange|John Oliver Hobbes
If he had been alive I am certain he would not have shirked his duty.Yule Logs|Various
There was a large yard at the back, and in one corner of it was the shed, which did duty for a stable.Under the Red Crescent|Charles S. Ryan
We found that Mrs. Spiker had secured her rights, and was on duty that day as nurse.The Soldier of the Valley|Nelson Lloyd
noun plural -ties
- the quantity or intensity of work for which a machine is designed
- a measure of the efficiency of a machine
- a job or service allocated
- (as modifier)duty rota
Word Origin 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.
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.