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national debt

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noun
  1. the financial obligations of a national government resulting from deficit spending.
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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

British Dictionary definitions for national debt

national debt

noun
  1. the total outstanding borrowings of a nation's central governmentAlso called (esp US): public debt
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

national debt in Culture

national debt

The debt of the government; the amount of borrowing by the government to meet expenditures exceeding tax revenues.

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Note

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.