- the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
Origin of national debt
An Americanism dating back to 1775–85
Also called public debt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the total outstanding borrowings of a nation's central governmentAlso called (esp US): public debt
A large national debt can inhibit growth and drive up interest rates.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.