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.
British Dictionary definitions for on duty
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
Word Origin and History for on 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.
Culture definitions for on duty
A tax charged by a government, especially on an import.
Idioms and Phrases with on duty (1 of 2)
At one's post, at work, as in The new nurse was on duty that evening, or The watchman was fired because he was drunk on duty. [Mid-1600s] The antonym, off duty, means “not engaged in one's work,” as in Captain Smith was much more amiable when he was off duty. [Mid-1800s]
Idioms and Phrases with on duty (2 of 2)
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.