owe

[oh]

verb (used with object), owed, ow·ing.

to be under obligation to pay or repay: to owe money to the bank; to owe the bank interest on a mortgage.
to be in debt to: He says he doesn't owe anybody.
to be indebted (to) as the cause or source of: to owe one's fame to good fortune.
to have or bear (a feeling or attitude) toward someone or something: to owe gratitude to one's rescuers.
Obsolete. to possess; own.

verb (used without object), owed, ow·ing.

to be in debt: Neither lend nor owe. Who owes for the antipasto?

Nearby words

  1. ovulocyclic,
  2. ovulum,
  3. ovum,
  4. ow,
  5. owatonna,
  6. owelty,
  7. owen,
  8. owen glendower,
  9. owen gun,
  10. owen sound

Origin of owe

before 900; Middle English owen to possess, be under obligation, have to pay; Old English āgan to possess; cognate with Old High German eigan, Old Norse eiga. See own, ought1

Can be confusedO oh oweode owed

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for owed


British Dictionary definitions for owed

owe

verb (mainly tr)

to be under an obligation to pay (someone) to the amount of
(intr) to be in debthe still owes for his house
(often foll by to) to have as a result (of)he owes his success to chance
to feel the need or obligation to do, give, etcto owe somebody thanks; to owe it to oneself to rest
to hold or maintain in the mind or heart (esp in the phrase owe a grudge)

Word Origin for owe

Old English āgan to have (C12: to have to); related to Old Saxon ēgan, Old High German eigan

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

Word Origin and History for owed

owe

v.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper